Work in the group is supported by Cancer Research UK, other charities, Newcastle University, research councils and industry. Through these partnerships we make sure that our work is addressing a clinical need and has a route to delivering patient benefit.


The drug discovery group was established in Newcastle in 1990, initially with funding from the North of England Cancer Research Campaign, followed by the Cancer Research Campaign and then Cancer Research UK from 2002.

In addition to core funding from Cancer Research UK, we have received funding from other national and regional charities, including Prostate Cancer UK, Bloodwise, JGW Patterson, the North of England Children’s Cancer Research Fund and the Wellcome Trust.

Newcastle University

The senior academic positions in the Cancer Research UK Newcastle Drug Discovery Unit are all Newcastle University members of staff. The University also funds new technologies relevant to drug discovery and supports the associated infrastructure.



Research Councils

A number of our core research themes are further supported through research council grants from the MRC, BBSRC and EPSRC. These funding mechanisms allow us to advance basic science and translate it into therapeutic opportunities.


We are also involved with MoSMed, an EPSRC centre for Doctoral Training in Molecular Sciences for Medicine at Newcastle and Durham Universities.




The success of the Cancer Research UK Newcastle Drug Discovery Unit stems from partnerships with industry that enable early drug projects to be progressed rapidly from the laboratory to the clinic.

We have had an innovative strategic Drug Discovery Alliance with Astex Pharmaceuticals (UK) since 2012 involving multiple projects. Astex are world leaders in the development and use of fragment-based drug discovery.