Asian Cancer Research Group (ACRG)

At a Glance
  • Status: Completed Consortium
  • Year Launched: 2010
  • Initiating Organization: Eli Lilly & Company, Merck, Pfizer Inc.
  • Initiator Type: Industry
  • Disease focus:
  • Location: Asia


Formed in 2010, the Asian Cancer Research Group (ACRG) is a not-for-profit pharmaceutical industry consortium established jointly by Eli Lilly and Company, Merck, and Pfizer Inc. to accelerate research and ultimately improve treatment for patients affected with the most commonly diagnosed cancers in Asia. ACRG seeks to increase and improve the knowledge of cancers prevalent in Asia by generating comprehensive genomic data sets and sharing them freely with the scientific community to accelerate drug discovery efforts. ACRG is focusing its initial efforts on liver, gastric, and lung cancers.


ACRG’s mission is to generate a unique and best-in-class genomic data resource for the most prevalent cancers in Asia that is open to scientists and clinicians worldwide. The goals include the following:

Consortium History

2010: ACRG forms as an independent not-for-profit company by Eli Lilly & Company, Merck, and Pfizer Inc.
2012: BGI and ACRG announce a collaboration on cancer genomics research (February).
2012: ACRG and Samsung Medical Center jointly announce a new collaboration on cancer genomics research as part of ACRG’s mission to generate a data source on cancers prevalent in Asia (March).
2012: ACRG announces the publication of results from a whole genome-wide study of recurrent hepatitis B virus integration in hepatocellular carcinoma in Nature Genetics.

Structure & Governance

The Board of Directors consists of representatives from the sponsoring pharmaceutical companies: Robert T. Abraham, PhD, Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer, Oncology Research, Pfizer Inc.; Steven W. Adams, DVM, PhD, Chief Operating Officer, Oncology Research, Pfizer Inc.; Kerry Blanchard, MD, PhD, Senior Vice President, China Drug Development, Eli Lilly & Company; D. Gary Gilliland, PhD, MD, Senior Vice President and Oncology Franchise Head, Merck; Yucynthia Jean-Louis, MBA, MPH, Senior Director, Corporate Licensing, Merck; Christoph Reinhard, PhD, Senior Director, Translational Sciences Oncology, Eli Lilly & Company.

The consortium officers are Mao Mao, MD, PhD (president), Xiang Ye, PhD (secretary), and James Hardwick, PhD (treasurer).


Resources are provided by the three founding companies, Eli Lilly & Company, Merck, and Pfizer Inc.

Data Sharing

The consortium is dedicated to creating one of the most extensive pharmacogenomic cancer databases, consisting of data from approximately 2,000 tissue samples from patients with lung and gastric cancer. This database will be made publicly available to researchers and, over time, further populated with clinical data from a longitudinal analysis of patients. Comparison of the contrasting genomic signatures of these cancers could inform new approaches to treatment. Eli Lilly & Company has assumed responsibility for ultimately providing the data to the research public through an open-source concept managed by its Singapore research site. Moreover, Eli Lilly & Company, Merck, and Pfizer Inc. will each provide technical and intellectual expertise.

Sponsors & Partners

Eli Lilly & Company


Pfizer Inc.

Last Updated: 04/06/2016

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