Kids Cancer ACT NOW launched to accelerate treatments for children with cancer

MRC Technology, a medical research charity, and aPODD, a childhood cancer charity, have launched a call to action to accelerate the development of new treatments for children with cancer. Around 1,500 children are diagnosed with cancer in the UK every year, and 300 will die from the disease. Cancer is the major cause of death by disease for children under 14 years of age in Europe and North America.

Through Kids Cancer – ACT NOW, the charities are galvanising support from other charities, social funders and philanthropists around the world to combine resources and expertise to help develop promising science projects towards the clinic.

In recent years adults with cancer have benefitted from new generation targeted therapies and immunotherapy treatments, but treatments for children have not seen similar breakthroughs. Since 1995, only three drugs have been approved by the United States drugs regulatory agency, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat cancer in children.

Due to the complexity of developing therapeutic drugs for children and the high cost of development for smaller patient groups, industry tends to launch adult indications first and delay or avoid paediatric development. Finite funding often means pharmaceutical companies can’t progress promising research in all areas.

MRC Technology and aPODD will work with charitable and social funders to progress existing research not currently developed by industry. This alternative new model to fund drug development will provide the focus and funding required to advance breakthroughs towards cancer treatments for children.

David Pardoe, Head of Growth Projects at MRC Technology said: “MRC Technology works to provide treatments to patients where there is unmet need. We believe promising research exists which could benefit patients. By taking some of the development risk and cost out, we will increase the likelihood that pharma will take it further. We need to close the gap between promising research and new treatments being available to children with cancer.”

Cesare Spadoni, Chairman, aPODD, said: “We are very excited to work together with MRC Technology on this project. One of the key objectives of aPODD has always been the promotion of new collaborative models and drug development strategies to make promising new treatments available to children with cancer. The initiative is a big step forward in this direction.”

Kids Cancer – ACT NOW was launched at the 48th Annual Congress of the International Society of Paediatric Oncology in Dublin, 19-22 October 2016.   Twitter #kidscanceractnow

Further information:

Media enquiries

Liezel Tipper, PR & Communications Manager, MRC Technology. Tel: 020 7391 2772, Email:

Cesare Spadoni, Chairman, aPODD. Email:

About MRC Technology

MRC Technology is an independent life science medical research charity committed to improving positive patient outcomes everywhere. As a champion for human health, MRC Technology partners with academic, biotechnology, pharmaceutical and charity organisations to move promising medical research forward into viable and accessible patient treatments. As a self-funded charity, income is reinvested to support translating research from the bench to patient. MRC Technology offers commercialisation and IP management skills and diagnostic and drug discovery expertise, specialising in small molecules and therapeutic antibodies.

About the ACT NOW Network

ACT NOW is a worldwide network of charities, social funders, supporters and philanthropists formed to ensure that existing research that is not being developed in spite of its potential is given the focus and funding to make it to clinical trial. Founded by MRC Technology, it aims to deliver much needed new medicines and treatments for key diseases.

Kids Cancer – ACT NOW is a specific awareness campaign from the ACT NOW Network.

About aPODD

aPODD Foundation is a non-profit organisation with the mission to accelerate the development of new therapeutic agents that are both more effective and safer to treat cancer in children. aPODD combines parents, paediatric oncologists and drug development experts to work together with industry, academia and other charities to fill the existing drug development gap for childhood cancer, which prevents promising new treatments from reaching the patients.

Cesare Spadoni