ABPI statement on brain tumour research

The ABPI has responded to recent concerns from a charity that pharmaceutical companies are holding up brain tumour research.

For glioblastoma alone, globally, the pharmaceutical industry is currently funding 142 clinical trials that are recruiting patients, and 133 of those trials are interventional studies testing new or repurposed medicines (Source: ClinicalTrials.Gov | 6 January 2024). 

Dr Amit Aggarwal, Executive Director of Medical Affairs at the ABPI said:

“Pharmaceutical companies exist to find, develop, and deliver effective treatments for patients and they do already provide medicines for external clinical trials for new uses voluntarily, including for brain cancers.

“The advantage of voluntary partnerships is that companies and external researchers can share valuable information on the science behind medicines, based on the knowledge that companies already have from previous experience. That information exchange helps create more scientifically sound clinical trials with a better chance of success.

"Forcing companies to release their products for every request risks undermining public trust in medicines if for example, a medicine doesn’t work for a new use, or worse, something goes wrong in a clinical trial the originator company had no involvement with. 

“For any clinical trial to take place, there must also be a scientific assessment of the likelihood of a trial working, considering the probability of that study meeting the high ethical and evidential standards needed for regulatory approval.

“Research to test cancer medicines for new uses is happening, and there are many examples of companies doing it themselves, and external researchers doing it with the support of companies. The ABPI continues to work with regulators to find ways to overcome the scientific and regulatory challenges involved in this type of research and allow more of it to take place.”

  • Clinical research

Last modified: 19 February 2024

Last reviewed: 19 February 2024

The ABPI exists to make the UK the best place in the world to research, develop and use new medicines. We represent companies of all sizes who invest in discovering the medicines of the future. 

Our members supply cutting edge treatments that improve and save the lives of millions of people. We work in partnership with Government and the NHS so patients can get new treatments faster and the NHS can plan how much it spends on medicines. Every day, we partner with organisations in the life sciences community and beyond to transform lives across the UK.