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ACT welcomes financial support from Anthony Nolan

Accelerating Clinical Trials Ltd is delighted to announce that Anthony Nolan is joining Cure Leukaemia and NHSBT, to provide financial support in its formative phase.

With support from Cure Leukaemia and NHSBT, ACT has been established as a commercial clinical trials delivery organisation with the aim of developing new treatments for blood cancers in the UK. ACT works with two networks of established and successful trial centres across the UK known as TAP and IMPACT.

There are many new drug and cellular therapies being investigated by the global pharmaceutical sector that may be beneficial and potentially curative in a range of blood cancers. Clinical trials are the only way in which such new treatments can be assessed and ultimately approved for use by the UK agencies MHRA and NICE.

Participation in clinical trials benefits patients by allowing them to gain early access to the most promising new treatments while being closely monitored and cared for by their medical teams.

The recent report by Lord O’Shaughnessy highlighted how the UK is falling behind in being selected by pharmaceutical companies to participate in their pivotal trials and references ACT as a model organisation for correcting this situation. ACT is already gaining traction with global pharmaceutical companies.

Running clinical trials is a complex, resource intensive and heavily regulated process. Therefore, the additional financial support from Anthony Nolan is hugely beneficial to ACT as it builds the infrastructure required to run more and increasingly complex clinical trials.

“It is tremendous news that Anthony Nolan are joining in partnership with Cure Leukaemia and NHSBT to ensure the delivery of the current portfolio of pivotal transplant trials and at the same time ensure capacity for development of new randomised studies” – Prof. Charles Craddock, Medical Director for Accelerating Clinical Trials Ltd

Anthony Nolan
For several types of blood cancer, and some blood disorders and other diseases, the only potentially curative treatment is an allogeneic stem cell transplant (formally known as an allogeneic bone marrow transplant). Allogeneic means that the source of stem cells comes from a healthy donor whose cells are immunologically well matched to the patient so that the patient’s immune system does not reject the stem cells. Sometimes a family member is the best matched donor, but this is often not the case. Anthony Nolan was originally established as a register of potential bone marrow (stem cell) donors. Without this register it was not possible to match patients with unrelated voluntary donors. Despite this revolutionary resource, sadly some patients will not survive   or have a poor quality of life following transplant. As well as growing the stem cell donor register, Anthony Nolan carries out and supports research that aims to improve survival rates and quality of life after transplant and investigates other types of cellular therapy. Research into new and improved treatments is vital to Anthony Nolan’s equity aim: ensuring that there are more options available for patients who do not have a fully matched stem cell donor, including those from a minority ethnic background. As part of this effort, the charity was one of the founding supporters of the IMPACT trials network and are now investing in ACT to continue this research. To ensure all communities benefit from scientific progress, Anthony Nolan is particularly keen for ACT trials to involve people of diverse backgrounds, experiences, and demographics.