Strategic Collaboration to Develop Innovative Drug Therapies

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN) and Sarah Cannon Research Institute (SCRI), an international leader in advancing therapies for cancer patients through clinical research, today announced that SCRI will lead the clinical development of a novel targeted oncology compound from AstraZeneca.

Cancer is a major cause of mortality globally; accounting for 7.4 million (or 13%) of all deaths in 2004. The World Health Organization estimates the incidence of cancer to continue rising to reach an estimated 9.2 million deaths in 2015, driving the critical need for novel therapies to reach patients quickly and efficiently.

Under the agreement, SCRI will collaborate with AstraZeneca to provide clinical program development expertise, clinical program design, medical oversight and trial management. The first clinical trial to be conducted under the agreement was initiated in November 2010 with the first patient enrollment into that clinical trial on November 23, 2010.

Potential benefits to be derived from this unique collaboration include enhanced strategic clinical development in pursuit of new and more effective cancer therapies, flexibility in program design and implementation, innovation via realizing efficiencies across the collaboration, leveraging the strengths of the innovative collaboration, and rapid patient enrollment to clinical trials through the access of a large network of cancer patients.

Andrew Hughes, Vice President, Oncology Clinical Innovative Medicines, said: "AstraZeneca has a long history of discovering and developing cancer therapeutics that have made a real difference to cancer patients. For many years we have enjoyed an excellent working relationship with SCRI and this is an exciting next step in our relationship that continues to foster collaboration and innovation in advancing the field of cancer research. The collaboration is unique because SCRI will assist AstraZeneca with both the design and delivery of a new agent from its first studies in cancer patients to proof of concept at the conclusion of Phase II and we are delighted to be working with SCRI in this innovative way."

"We are pleased to engage in this strategic collaboration, bringing together some of the world's strongest physicians and scientists to optimize the development of new therapies for patients with cancer," said Dee Anna Smith, CEO of SCRI. "We look forward to providing AstraZeneca with exceptional drug development services while leveraging an industry-leading opportunity to explore a new way for pharmaceutical drug development companies to collaborate."

"This type of strategic partnership is an exciting opportunity to demonstrate how clinical scientists and industry can collaborate for the greater good of patients. I believe the structure of the relationship will enable us to both adapt and move quickly from one study to the next as the clinical program progresses," said Howard A. "Skip" Burris III, M.D., SCRI chief medical officer and director of drug development.

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