AstraZeneca to invest £11.5 million in new clinical oncology bioinformatics collaboration with The University of Manchester

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

AstraZeneca and The University of Manchester today announced a collaboration harnessing clinical bioinformatics to deliver personalised healthcare for cancer patients. The five-year agreement will see the organisations apply clinical trial bioinformatics to better identify the right cancer treatment for the right patient at the right time.

As part of the collaboration, AstraZeneca will provide a total of £11.5 million to support clinical bioinformatics research led by a dedicated team of investigators within the recently established Centre for Cancer Biomarker Sciences at the Manchester Cancer Research Centre. The research will be carried out in partnership with the state-of-the-art clinical trials unit of The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, which is at the forefront of experimental cancer medicine in the UK.

Projects will include the development of a new bioinformatics system to capture and integrate clinical trial safety, efficacy, biomarker and drug distribution data in real time, presenting the information in the form of graphs that can be easily interpreted by clinicians to help tailor the treatment for patients. The collaboration will also support new training programmes in clinical research and pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic modelling for investigators to understand the distribution and clinical effects of medicines within the body.

Mene Pangalos, Executive Vice President, Innovative Medicines & Early Development, said: “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. We will be able to modify clinical trial programmes accordingly and support clinicians to offer more accurate, personalised and rapid decision making to patients about their treatment.”

Professor of Experimental Cancer Medicine, Andrew Hughes, from the University’s Institute of Cancer Sciences said: “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.”

This collaboration builds on existing scientific collaborations between AstraZeneca and The University of Manchester, ranging from research into novel cancer medicines to progressing treatments for lung cancer, advancing inflammatory research and developing new drug delivery systems.

NOTES FOR EDITORS

About the University of Manchester

The University of Manchester, a member of the prestigious Russell Group of British universities, is the largest and most popular university in the UK. It has 20 academic schools and hundreds of specialist research groups undertaking pioneering multi-disciplinary teaching and research of worldwide significance.

The University of Manchester is one of the country’s major research institutions, rated fifth in the UK in terms of ‘research power’ (Research Excellence Framework 2014), and has had no fewer than 25 Nobel laureates either work or study there. The University had an annual income of £886 million in 2013/14. www.manchester.ac.uk

Cancer is one of The University of Manchester’s research beacons - examples of pioneering discoveries, interdisciplinary collaboration and cross-sector partnerships that are tackling some of the biggest questions facing the planet. http://www.manchester.ac.uk/research/beacons/cancer/

About The Christie

Being located within a specialist cancer hospital places The Christie clinical trials unit in a unique position to drive progress towards new anti-cancer treatments and trials that are much more focused on individual patient characteristics. The Christie is a world-renowned cancer centre treating approximately 44,000 every year. The world’s first use of breast cancer drugs Tamoxifen and Stilboestrol were trialled at The Christie in 1970 and 1944, and 2009 saw the first European clinical trials carried out for pioneering radio immunotherapy at The Christie. For more information visit www.christie.nhs.uk/research

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of cardiovascular, metabolic, respiratory, inflammation, autoimmune, oncology, infection and neuroscience diseases. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. For more information please visit: www.astrazeneca.com

 

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