Redefining the treatment paradigm to eliminate cancer as a cause of death
Even as research and development continues to break boundaries in how we understand and fight cancer, there are still more than eight million lives lost every year to the disease.
At AstraZeneca, we are committed to advancing the science of oncology to deliver life-changing medicines to patients most in need. With a combination-focused pipeline that exploits the power of four scientific platforms to help address unmet clinical needs in a host of cancers, we are motivated by a dedication to the scientific discovery and collaboration that will one day help eliminate cancer as a cause of death.
Our scientific platforms
We've decided to concentrate on four scientific platforms that we believe give us the best chance in finding routes to effective medicines in the most efficient way.
Using the body's immune system to help fight cancer
Tumour drivers and resistance
Developing therapies that target specific mutations to attack cancer cells
DNA damage response
Targeting the DNA repair process to block tumour cells' ability to reproduce
Arming antibodies with cancer-killing agents for specific tumour targeting
Four key disease areas
There are many types of cancer disease. For us to be most effective, we've chosen to concentrate on four key diseases.
What we're working on
As part of our commitment to oncology, we're constantly working on new and exciting streams of work. Here are just a few of what we're up to at the moment.
Our haematology franchise exemplifies how AstraZeneca partners with science-led companies to contribute complementary technologies, know-how, and molecules to help accelerate the development and delivery of novel medicines. While we are at the beginning of our ambitious journey in haematology, through our strategic partnerships we are already delivering transformational therapies to enhance and extend the lives of people with haematologic cancers.
Irregular activity of the WEE1 kinase, a kinase regulator of cell cycle checkpoints in healthy cells, has been linked to cancers such as ovarian and non-small-cell lung. Inhibiting this activity has demonstrated interference with DNA damage response within tumor cells and can eventually lead to their death. AstraZeneca is currently evaluating an investigational, highly selective WEE1 inhibitor designed to leverage this mechanism for a variety of solid tumours.
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Many cellular processes are regulated by a signaling network composed of three key enzymes, but this network is often disrupted in a number of cancers. Gene amplification of AKT (protein kinase B) has been identified as a tumour driver, and its mutations are thought to mediate resistance to conventional chemotherapies. AstraZeneca is currently exploring an investigational pan AKT-kinase inhibitor as a potential treatment for advanced solid tumours and metastatic malignancies.
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Selective oestrogen receptor downregulation
In about 70% of breast cancers, specific oestrogen receptors are over-expressed, and even when patients are treated with current therapies targeting this driver, many still progress. To address this need for effective treatment alternatives, AstraZeneca is currently developing a selective oestrogen receptor downregulator, an innovative investigational molecule being explored in clinical trials as a potential oral treatment for types of advanced breast cancers with certain receptor mutations.
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Collaboration in Oncology
To eradicate cancer as a cause of death, we understand that we cannot work alone. Improving patient outcomes requires a collaborative approach to research and development.
Our Oncology pipeline
Our robust pipeline includes investigational therapies in varied stages of clinical development, from recently approved products to earlier-stage molecules in clinical trials. We aspire to transform the lives of cancer patients, working to eliminate cancer as a cause of death in the future.
Phase 3/LCM Projects: refers to assets that are pivotal in Phase II/III, or that have been submitted for regulatory approval, and may include assets that are now launched in one or more major markets (removed when launched in all applicable major markets).
Oncology (as at 14 February 2019)
Our Oncology medicines
Our medicines are approved in individual countries for specific uses and the information we provide for patients is governed by local regulations.
You should visit your local AstraZeneca site to find out more about our medicines in your country. In some countries we are not allowed to provide very much, or sometimes any, information on our prescription medicines so you should seek alternative trustworthy sources. Always ask a healthcare professional for advice about medicines.
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Veeva ID: Z4-12940
Date of next review: September 2020