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Champions Oncology, AstraZeneca collaborate

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Champions Oncology, a company engaged in the development and sale of advanced technology solutions and products to personalize the development and use of oncology drugs, announced a strategic collaboration with AstraZeneca to develop novel cohorts of PDX models. These models will be used in AstraZeneca’s oncology R&D programs in breast and lung cancer, in addition to being added to Champions’ existing TumorGraft bank for translational oncology research for academic and industry customers. Champions’ global network of collaborating sites will be leveraged to support this multi-year initiative.

These novel models will expand Champions’ bank of estrogen-receptor-positive (ER+) metastatic breast cancer and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutant non-small cell lung cancer PDX models. Both cohorts will focus on the metastatic, previously treated setting and will enable a better understanding of mechanisms of resistance, providing a critical platform to optimize drug development in these settings. Full clinical and molecular annotation will be available to enable model selection for testing innovative therapies, investigating new and existing pathways, and identification of biomarkers.

Steve Fawell, VP and Head of Oncology Science at AstraZeneca, said, “This collaboration with Champions is allowing us to develop and characterize tumor models representing the drug refractory and drug resistant state, a surprisingly underserved space in cancer biology and drug development with most current cell line and PDX models being derived from diagnostic untreated patient samples. They will be pivotal to understanding drug resistance mechanisms and the development of next generation drugs.”

Klaas Bakker, M.D., Head of EGFR Therapies, Global Medical Affairs, AstraZeneca, “This collaboration will support our continued efforts to better understand EGFR-mutant disease and help us develop further therapeutic approaches for patients.”

Angela M. Davies, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, Champions, added, “We are excited to be partnering with AstraZeneca to support their translational oncology needs. This collaboration represents another dimension in our capabilities to deliver a specific cohort of PDX models to clients to support drug development portfolios in key areas. These unique models reflect current standard of care and are not widely available. These new models, in addition to our large existing TumorGraft bank, continue to be a valuable and cost-effective tool for the pharmaceutical industry in their preclinical and clinical drug development research.”

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