AstraZeneca in cancer research collaboration

AZ - web AstraZeneca (AZ) has entered a two-year partnership with the University of Cambridge and Cancer Research UK to complete three major oncology research projects.

The research partners will study tumour mutations and develop new therapies for pancreatic and prostate cancer.

The alliance utilises the placing of AZ’s new global R&D centre at the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, drawing together the best elements of the region’s biomedical research hub.

AZ will work together with the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute, the University of Cambridge Department of Oncology, the Babraham Institute and Cambridge University Hospitals to:

• evaluate a new technology for analysis of tumour DNA, enabling clinicians to select targeted medicines

• test the effectiveness of AZ’s investigational therapies olaparib and AZD2014 in high-risk prostate cancer patients

• evaluate new therapies for pancreatic cancer, based on AZ’s investigational compound selumetinib.

Pancreatic cancer and high-risk prostate cancer have low survival rates. AZ has identified oncology as a core therapy area for its drug pipeline.

David Neal, Group Leader at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute, called the partnership “a wonderful example of how collaboration between a world-class pharmaceutical company and cutting-edge academic research will lead to benefits for patients through better understanding individual variation in cancer behaviour.”

“It is fitting that the focus of these collaborations is on delivering new medicines for cancer because our Cambridge facility will become AstraZeneca’s largest centre for oncology research,” said Susan Galbraith, head of AZ’s Oncology Innovative Medicines Unit. “We look forward to having our scientists work side-by-side with some of the world’s most distinguished medical institutions.

“All three of the collaborations advance our work in the area of personalised healthcare.”