MORE than 200 people will be taking part in ABP Southampton marathon runs to support a campaign to build a £25million state-of-the-art centre for cancer immunology.

As previously reported by the Echo, the project was launched by the University of Southampton to offer the chance for Hampshire cancer patients to undergo trials using revolutionary new medicines.

Just £4.5million is needed to finish the build of the trailblazing facility at Southampton General Hospital.

Now, 223 runners are hoping to reduce that total by lacing up their shoes and taking part in the ABP Southampton Marathon, Half Marathon and 10k this Sunday.

Professor Tim Elliott, director for the Centre for Cancer Immunology, said: “It is wonderful to see such support for the campaign from both staff and students all around the university.

“The construction of the centre is well underway but we still need another £4.5m towards our fundraising target to make it a reality.

“All contributions make a real difference and we are so grateful to all those running for the campaign.”

At last year’s event, 30 runners collectively raised more than £9,500 towards the centre.

The four-storey building will be home to world-class research facilities, a clinical trials unit, and a suite of molecular biology laboratories, where genetic engineering will be used to develop new vaccine and antibody constructs.

It will also house a pre-clinical immunology lab investigating the complex interaction of cancer and the immune system

The state-of-the-art centre will be the first of its kind in the UK - and bring 50 new jobs to the city.

The flagship purpose-built centre will also bring together world-leading specialists who will use world-class research facilities and laboratories to work on a new cure the disease.

University bosses also hope it could transform the city into a hub for world leading biomedicine research and attract pharmaceutical manufacturers to the region.

The ABP Southampton Marathon, half marathon and 10k will be held this Sunday.