Ruth March, PhD, is Vice-President of AstraZeneca’s Personalised Healthcare and Biomarkers function, including over 100 diagnostic and biomarker experts in the UK, US and Sweden.

A member of the senior team leading AstraZeneca’s Innovative Medicines & Early Development, Ruth is accountable for delivering companion diagnostics and validated biomarkers to AstraZeneca drug projects, targeting medicines across all therapy areas to those most likely to benefit.

Over the past 10 years, Ruth has led AstraZeneca’s capability in personalised healthcare to develop as an industry leader, ensuring 80% of drug projects are following personalised healthcare approaches, and steering $90m investment in diagnostic partnerships.

Her leadership of regulatory approval for companion diagnostic tests enabled delivery of AstraZeneca's important medicines to lung cancer and ovarian cancer patients.

Ruth has pioneered the first FDA-approved lab-based companion diagnostic, the first drug label based on circulating tumour DNA, the first diagnostic partnership for next generation sequencing, and personalised healthcare across therapy areas.

A genomics specialist with over 50 publications, Ruth drew on her academic research to lead the first genome-wide single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) analysis of a safety biomarker to be submitted to the FDA.

  Personalised healthcare: transforming the way we use medicine



Medicine with a personal touch


First laboratory-based companion diagnostic test approved in the world for mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes (2014) to guide therapy in ovarian cancer


First regulatory label in the world to include use of circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) for mutation testing (2014), enabling testing for approximately 25% of eligible lung cancer patients in whom a tumour sample is not evaluable


Companion diagnostic tests approved for activating mutations of EGFR-TK to guide therapy in lung cancer (2009, 2015)

  Featured publications

Lessons learned from the fate of AstraZeneca's drug pipeline

Lessons learned from the fate of AstraZeneca's drug pipeline: a five-dimensional framework. D Cook, D Brown, R Alexander, R E March, P Morgan, G Satterthwaite & M N Pangalos. Nature Reviews Drug Discovery 13, 419-431 (June 2014) | doi:10.1038/nrd4309

Genome-wide pharmacogenetic investigation of a hepatic adverse event

Genome-wide pharmacogenetic investigation of a hepatic adverse event without clinical signs of immunopathology suggests an underlying immune pathogenesis. A Kindmark, A Jawaid, C G Harbron, B J Barratt, O F Bengtsson, T B Andersson, S Carlsson, K E Cederbrant, N J Gibson, M Armstrong, M E Lagerström-Fermér, A Dellsén, E M Brown, M Thornton, C Dukes, S C Jenkins, M A Firth, G O Harrod, T H Pinel, S M E Billing-Clason, L R Cardon and R E March. The Pharmacogenomics Journal (2008) 8, 186–195; doi:10.1038/sj.tpj.6500458

Rosuvastatin pharmacokinetics and pharmacogenetics

Rosuvastatin pharmacokinetics and pharmacogenetics in white and Asian subjects residing in the same environment. E Lee, S Ryan, B Birmingham, J Zalikowski, R March, H Ambrose, R Moore, C Lee, Y Chen, D Schneck. Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics (2005) Volume 78, Issue 4, pages 330–341; doi:10.1016/j.clpt.2005.06.013

I believe personalised healthcare is the future of medicine; it allows us to use the latest diagnostic science to target medicines to patients most likely to benefit.

Ruth March