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Last Updated: 06/21/23

Milestone (1983)

Extraction lab

Extraction laboratory prepares samples of natural substances for chemical analysis. Courtesy of NCI. 1987.

National Cooperative Drug Discovery Group (NCDDG) Program

Mary Wolpert, Ph.D.
Chief, GCOB, DTP

Wolpert Video #1

Wolpert Video #2

Michael Boyd, M.D., Ph.D.
Former Associate Director, DTP


The NCDDG Program has assisted in the development of four FDA-approved anticancer agents: topotecan, NSC 609699 (Hycamtin); Gliadel wafers, NSC 714372; denileukin diftitox, NSC 733971 (Ontak); and cetuximab, NSC 714692 (Erbitux).

The National Cooperative Drug Discovery Group (NCDDG) Program, initiated in 1983, partners NCI-funded academic researchers with private-sector organizations to fund cooperative agreements (U19s) in support of a multidisciplinary team approach to the discovery of new, rationally based or natural-source-derived anticancer treatments or strategies. The NCDDG supports 13 multidisciplinary groups involved in the discovery of new anticancer drugs.

This program is one of the first examples of NCI partnering with private industry, and a number of promising anticancer agents have been developed through the NCDDG Program. Although NCDDG projects do not support clinical trials, timely clinical evaluation of agents discovered through NCDDG is encouraged.

DTP's Biological Resources Branch has been instrumental in the production of vaccines and other biologic agents, especially for NCDDGs that lacked a major industrial partner.