RareCan receives approval from NHS Research Ethics Committee to establish vital BioResource at Newcastle University
Hexham, UK, 25 October 2021: RareCan, a novel company accelerating research into rare cancers, today announced it has received approval from the NHS Research Ethics Committee to establish its BioResource at Newcastle University. The BioResource, which will store tissue samples from rare cancer patients collected during surgery, will be accessible to scientists around the globe undertaking research into the prevention, diagnosis or treatment of rare cancers. This reduces the time taken to provide samples for research purposes from months to weeks.
The company has also announced a new research partnership with The National Horizons Centre, Teesside University’s Centre of Excellence for the Bioindustry, who will conduct exome sequencing on a subset of the tissue samples to enrich and expand the data available within the BioResource, and enable researchers to build specific cohorts of samples for future research projects and clinical trials specific to their requirements.
Today there are 740 global life sciences companies investing in 950 products that include a rare cancer target. This translates into an accelerating number of clinical trials taking place, all requiring access to consenting patients, secure data, and bio-samples. With patient consent, RareCan will arrange for tissue samples to be collected and sent directly to researchers for immediate use or be transported to the BioResource where it will be stored securely for future use.
“Receiving approval from the Research Ethics Committee is a pivotal moment in our growth and the evolution of RareCan,” commented Professor Andy Hall, Founding Director and Chief Scientific Officer at RareCan. “In both the lab and the clinic, access to data from patients with cancer is essential to increase our understanding of how a cancer arises and how it can be prevented, diagnosed or treated. To be robust, observations need to be shown to be consistent. In rare cancer research, I have seen first-hand how access to sufficient numbers of cases to do this is a major challenge and a firm reason why researchers and drug companies may be put off from following a promising lead. This is exactly why RareCan exists today, and we are pleased to now be able to deliver an unmet need to accelerate life changing research.”
Professor Vikki Rand, Professor of Biosciences and Director of Research at the National Horizons Centre, Teesside University, commented: “Through fundamental and applied research, the National Horizons Centre at Teesside University prides itself on discovering diseases earlier, developing novel treatments and delivering life-saving medicines quicker, safer and more affordably. RareCan’s mission to accelerate research into rare cancers is closely aligned with our research interests and we are pleased to be a part of their journey and growth.”
Dr Amy Peasland, Central Biobank Manager at Newcastle University, added: “We have a robust quality management system to maintain the integrity of donated samples, protect patient information, and ensure staff safety, which makes us an attractive partner for RareCan. With their growing platform, RareCan represents an unparalleled opportunity to accelerate research into rare cancers now and in the future and we look forward to working closely with them.”