GlaxoSmithKline Targets India For Cancer Drug Research

GlaxoSmithKline Plc plans to make India a major center for testing experimental cancer drugs, in a move highlighting the appeal of the country as a low-cost base for research. Europe's biggest drug maker said on Thursday it had signed a collaboration with the University of Oxford's clinical pharmacology department to establish the first Indian cancer-trials network. Glaxo, which has big ambitions in cancer, will outline its goals for tackling the disease at a research seminar for investors on November 30. Its most important experimental cancer drug is lapatinib, a dual-action treatment which is being developed initially for breast cancer. It also has a promising vaccine to prevent cervical cancer, called Cervarix. Glaxo said the new collaboration would enable the evaluation of new treatments in a range of cancer types, including gall bladder, liver and cervical cancers, which are more prevalent in India than in Europe or North America. The new network -- which has initial 3-year funding from Glaxo -- will include publicly funded cancer centres in New Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Mumbai, Kerala and Ahmedabad.

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