New Investor CV6 Partners with QUB in Major Cancer R&D Project


With support from Invest Northern Ireland, California based CV6 Therapeutics Ltd has chosen to partner with the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology at Queen’s University, Belfast for a highly innovative R&D project.

The project, which aims to develop a new drug with the potential to make chemotherapy more effective, represents a total investment of £5.5million in R&D. Invest NI has offered assistance of £2.5million towards the collaboration which includes part funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

It will promote 10 new research jobs with salaries well above the Northern Ireland Private Sector Median.

Alastair Hamilton, CEO of Invest NI said “Minister Foster and I met with CV6 last year at the Bio International Conference in San Diego which gave us the opportunity to help secure this investment for Northern Ireland.

“This project not only has the potential to result in advancements in cancer treatment worldwide but will deliver significant supply chain economic benefits to Northern Ireland of £1.85million.

“Dr Robert Ladner CEO of CV6 and a world leading expert on mechanisms of drug resistance will relocate to Northern Ireland with his senior team to lead this project. This is a very positive announcement for the life sciences sector in Northern Ireland and is a further endorsement of Northern Ireland’s strengths in precision medicine and oncology research.”

This latest announcement adds to the growing momentum of successful academic-industrial partnerships being forged at the Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology at Queen’s University Belfast.

Dr Robert Ladner, CEO of CV6 said “Our research so far has focused on the identification of drug targets responsible for resistance to extensively used chemo-therapy drugs.

“The R&D we will undertake during this project has the potential to significantly improve chemotherapy treatments in a wide range of cancers by overcoming key resistance pathways associated with these cornerstone drugs and in turn deliver significant economic benefits and advancements in cancer treatments worldwide.

“The quality and availability of specialist skills here and the strong links we have forged with Queen’s University were key factors when we chose Northern Ireland as the location for this project.  Northern Ireland offers a wealth of talented and knowledgeable people, some of whom have already played a vital role in our progress to date.

“Our drug development programme is extensive and the support of Invest NI has been critical in enabling this project to advance. Our goal is to deliver new drugs that significantly improve patient responses and clinical outcomes for a range of major cancer types.”

Professor David Waugh, Director, CCRCB said “We are delighted to welcome CV6 into our collaborative research programme. Attracting CV6 to join our mission in Belfast is further evidence of the international reputation that the University is developing in undertaking cutting edge research.

“Resistance to chemotherapy drugs is a major factor in the failure of many forms of chemotherapy and the collaboration with CV6 will seek to deliver innovative new therapeutic approaches to tackle this problem. Importantly, the work stemming from this investment will provide further hope to many cancer patients, locally and globally.”

Invest NI’s research and development support is part funded by the ERDF under the EU Investment for Growth and Jobs Programme 2014-2020.