AstraZeneca has entered into an agreement with the University of Cambridge and Cancer Research U.K. for a two-year collaboration on three preclinical and clinical oncology projects. This agreement aims to advance cancer research through the study of tumor mutations and new investigational therapies in prostate, pancreatic and potentially other cancers.
The collaboration follows AZ’s announcement that by 2016 its new U.K.-based global R&D center and corporate headquarters will be located at the Cambridge Biomedical Campus. This alliance will bring together scientists from AZ’s small molecule and MedImmune’s biologics units and researchers across the region from the university, affiliated institutes and the NHS, all of which are members of the Cambridge Cancer Center.
The three projects involve working with the colleges to evaluate new technology that will allow clinicians to monitor the activity of a tumor through blood tests and without the need for biopsies, working to test the potential effectiveness of AZ’s investigational therapies olaparib and AZD2014 in high-risk prostate cancer patients who currently have a poor disease prognosis and working to evaluate new therapeutic approaches for patients with pancreatic cancer, a disease with an extremely poor prognosis and few treatments available. The collaboration will focus on identifying the best drug combinations for AZ’s investigational compound selumetinib in preclinical models.
“All three of the collaborations we are announcing today advance our work in the area of personalized healthcare, helping us to understand and address the underlying mechanisms of disease so that we can find the right medicines for the right patients,” said Susan Galbraith, head of AZ’s Oncology Innovative Medicines Unit.
AZ’s new, purpose-built site on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus will bring together the company’s small molecule and biologics R&D activity focused on oncology, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, respiratory, inflammation and autoimmune diseases and conditions of the central nervous system.