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AstraZeneca and The University of Manchester ink cancer collaboration
LONDON—AstraZeneca is teaming up with The University of Manchester in a five-year collaboration that will focus on applying clinical bioinformatics to deliver personalized healthcare for cancer patients by helping to better identify the right cancer treatment at the right time.
“This collaboration is exciting because it will eventually allow us to incorporate important data from clinical trials into a format that can be reviewed in real time by healthcare professionals and matched with information about cancer medicines,” Mene Pangalos, executive vice president of Innovative Medicines & Early Development for AstraZeneca, said in a press release. “We will be able to modify clinical trial programs accordingly and support clinicians to offer more accurate, personalized and rapid decision-making to patients about their treatment.”
Per the terms of the collaboration, AstraZeneca will fund £11.5 million (approximately $17.6 million) to support clinical bioinformatics research, which will be led by a team in the new Centre for Cancer Biomarker Sciences at the Manchester Cancer Research Centre. This research will be conducted in partnership with the state-of-the-art clinical trials unit of The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, a leader of experimental cancer medicine in the United Kingdom.
The collaboration will consist of several projects, including the development of a new bioinformatics system to capture and integrate clinical trial safety, efficacy, biomarker and drug distribution data in real time. This arrangement will also support new training programs in clinical research and pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic modeling to aid investigators in better interpreting the distribution and clinical effects of various medicines in the body.
“Patient insight is key to our understanding of new cancer drugs. The information we get from patients about their experiences of taking new drugs is key to shaping our risk and benefit assessment. AstraZeneca has long supported the UK science base and this latest collaboration with the Manchester Cancer Research Centre will enable the patients to share their insights with investigators and sponsors more effectively and efficiently than today, enabling a more informed assessment,” commented Andrew Hughes, professor of Experimental Cancer Medicine at the University’s Institute of Cancer Sciences.
This is just the latest in a line of several agreements established between AstraZeneca and the University. Back in June 2013, the organizations announced, along with Cancer Research Technology, the commercial arm of Cancer Research UK, a pair of agreements under which the partners would seek new cancer drugs. Last year, the University and AstraZeneca inked two different agreements, the first of which was announced in October and saw the organizations forming the North West Centre for Advanced Drug Delivery, to be housed in the Manchester Pharmacy School, and inking a strategic collaboration to develop cutting-edge technologies to enhance drug delivery for use with AstraZeneca drugs. In November, the University, AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline formed the Manchester Collaborative Centre for Inflammation Research, a tripartite collaboration for developing novel concepts in inflammation research.