Cancer Research UK forms strategic alliance with the Oncode Institute

Published date:
May 11 2022

Cancer Research UK, the world’s largest private funder of cancer research, today (Wednesday), announces a strategic alliance with the Stichting Oncode Institute (‘Oncode’), an independent fundamental research institute in the Netherlands, dedicated to understanding cancer and translating research into tangible benefits for patients.

Cancer Research UK, the world’s largest private funder of cancer research, today (Wednesday), announces a strategic alliance with the Stichting Oncode Institute (‘Oncode’), an independent fundamental research institute in the Netherlands, dedicated to understanding cancer and translating research into tangible benefits for patients.

The five-year partnership is the first under Cancer Research UK’s new innovation organisation, Cancer Research Horizons*, as well as being Oncode’s first UK partner. The alliance aims to foster innovation and collaboration between world-leading cancer researchers. 

Under the agreement, Cancer Research Horizons and Oncode will develop joint training programmes and workshops for researchers, facilitate translation of novel discovery science through partnering with industry or new venture creation, co-fund research projects and share drug discovery capabilities.

The partnership will enable a focus on early-stage oncology to help de-risk novel ideas and biology, allowing the pursuit of the tougher and relatively unexplored areas of cancer research that hold promise for true innovation in patient treatment. Focusing resources and expertise in these areas will help accelerate the number of much-needed treatments to cancer patients.

Not enough promising treatments are reaching cancer patients fast enough. Encouraging researchers to focus on translating their research and develop it beyond the early stages of discovery, is vital for bringing much-needed new treatments to patients quicker.

Both partners expect to see at least two projects advance into clinical trials during the five-year term and an increase in international collaboration on research projects, as well as encouraging more researchers to become entrepreneurs.

One such collaboration has already been initiated and will focus on finding novel drugs to target DNA Damage Repair mechanisms in cancer, allowing the drug to selectively target and kill cancer cells whilst leaving healthy cells alone.

Dr Iain Foulkes, chief executive officer of Cancer Research Horizons, said: “We know that cancer is too difficult to tackle alone, and the pandemic exemplified why international collaboration within the scientific community is so vital for making fast progress in bringing about new treatments for a disease. 

“I am incredibly proud to see that Cancer Research Horizons is already making strides in the international research community so soon after its launch, and it is exciting to have Oncode join us in our efforts to beat cancer. The world class science within Oncode coupled with our drug discovery capabilities in Horizons could really accelerate patient impact.” 

Chris De Jonghe, Valorization Director at Oncode Institute, adds: “We are thrilled about entering this alliance with a very like-minded organization such as Cancer Research UK. The combination of excellent science and proactive valorization makes Oncode’s approach unique and will certainly add value to our collaboration. I’m convinced that by joining forces across borders we will be able to substantially accelerate the translation of research innovations into tangible benefit for cancer patients.”



For media enquiries contact Ellie Bennett in the Cancer Research UK press office on 020 3469 5370 or, out of hours, on 020 3469 8301.

Notes to editor

*Cancer Research Horizons is a powerful innovation engine built to complement Cancer Research UK’s network of (4000) exceptional researchers. Bringing together world-leading minds, bold ideas and the right partners, we take cutting edge innovations from the lab bench to the bedside, translating them into effective treatments and diagnostics for cancer patients.   


To date, we’ve played an instrumental role in forming over 60 spin-out companies and bringing 11 new cancer drugs to market, borne out of our pioneering research.  We are the second biggest oncology out-licensor globally and are part of Cancer Research UK – the world’s largest medical research charity. We have exclusive rights to over £400 million of world-class cancer research each year and work closely with academia and industry to bridge the gap between research and the market, delivering maximum impact for patients.


About Cancer Research UK   

  • Cancer Research UK is the world’s leading cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research  
  • Cancer Research UK’s pioneering work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer has helped save millions of lives.  Cancer Research UK has been at the heart of the progress that has already seen survival in the UK double in the last 40 years.  
  • Today, 2 in 4 people survive their cancer for at least 10 years. Cancer Research UK’s ambition is to accelerate progress so that by 2034, 3 in 4 people will survive their cancer for at least 10 years.  
  • Cancer Research UK supports research into all aspects of cancer through the work of over 4,000 scientists, doctors and nurses.  
  • Together with its partners and supporters, Cancer Research UK's vision is to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.  

For further information about Cancer Research UK's work to find out how to support the charity, please call 0300 123 1022 or visit Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.  


About Oncode

Oncode Institute unites more than 900 excellent fundamental cancer researchers in the Netherlands. Our mission is to stimulate innovations in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. The ultimate goal is to help patients survive, improve the quality of life for those affected and contribute to a more affordable healthcare system. Oncode Institute translates fundamental insights into the biology of cancer into new diagnostics, new drugs and innovative treatments. Oncode’s three strategic pillars to improve patient outcomes are Excellent Science, Collaboration and Valorization. Oncode is funded by The Dutch Cancer Society, together with the Ministries of Economic Affairs & Climate, Education Culture & Science and Health, Welfare & Sport, and Health Holland, with a total amount of €120 million until 2022.