The initiative will provide funding to develop new research alliances and undertake impactful research to enable significant progress against cancer outcomes (Photo: NARINDER NANU/AFP/Getty Images).

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the partnership between India’s Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and Cancer Research UK (CRUK) for the India-UK Cancer Research Initiative was signed on Wednesday (14) in New Delhi.

The India-UK Cancer Research Initiative is a collaborative five-year bilateral research initiative by the DBT and CRUK that will focus on affordable approaches to cancer.

Both CRUK and DBT will invest £5 million each in this five-year pilot and seek further investment from other potential funding partners.

The India-UK Cancer Research Initiative will identify a core set of research challenges that address issues of affordability, prevention and care of cancer by bringing together leading Indian and UK experts across clinical research, demographic research, new technologies and physical sciences. The initiative will provide funding to develop new research alliances and undertake impactful research to enable significant progress against cancer outcomes.

This is a follow up of the joint statement issued by the prime ministers of India and UK during the visit of Indian prime minister Narendra Modi to the UK on April 18, 2018.

Speaking at the launch of this initiative, Secretary, DBT, Dr Renu Swarup, said, “…the India-UK Cancer Research Initiative will provide a catalysing platform for scientists and researchers in the UK and India to co-create solutions for affordable cancer care that improve cancer outcomes around the globe”.

“At DBT our priority is to apply science to solving complex challenges that benefit all humanity and we are glad to be partnering with CRUK to support research across all stages of cancer from prevention to cure to address the formidable challenge of cancer”, added Dr Renu.

Nick Grant, Cancer Research UK’s executive director of international partnerships, on the occasion said that no country escapes the impact of cancer, with millions around the world diagnosed with the disease every year and we need to bring together the brightest scientific minds across the world, breaking down barriers to address the challenge of cancer globally.

The India-UK Cancer Research Initiative was launched today at the Inaugural Researchers’ Summit, which is being held in New Delhi from November 14 to 16. The summit will facilitate knowledge sharing and communication among scientists, researchers, epidemiologists, clinicians, public health professionals and industry in the field of oncology.

The research phases of the India-UK Cancer Research Initiative will be overseen by a board of advisors comprising five cancer experts each from India and UK.

Prof David Hunter of the University of Oxford and Dr CS Pramesh of the Tata Memorial Hospital will serve respectively as Chair and Co-chair of the India-UK Cancer Research Initiative’s Advisory Panel.

The joint investment by both countries in this initiative is a testament to the emerging consensus that solutions to affordable cancer care lie in building strategic and evidence-based research partnerships that benefit the global cancer community.

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