Montreal Heart Institute

In a collaboration with the Montreal Heart Institute (MHI), AstraZeneca will interrogate the genomes of 80,000 patients. Samples will be extracted from the AstraZeneca Biobank - a collection of tissue and blood samples taken over 12 years of conducting clinical trials for diabetes or cardiovascular disease. "We are excited to have the opportunity to collaborate with the [Montreal] Heart Institute. The Institute's experience in running clinical trials means it is uniquely positioned to interpret the discoveries that come out of the archive of patients who have donated tissue and blood and have signed an additional consent to progress research. This collaboration provides the opportunity to honour the commitment of the patients," explains Dr. March. The interrogation of genomes is a search for patterns. MHI and AstraZeneca will use the latest techniques to scan the samples for any genes that may be associated with a predisposition to either disease. Additionally, information collected with each sample relating to disease complications and treatment outcomes will also help to define subgroups of patients who may be more likely to respond to treatment. "Some patients progress quickly to serious complications, others respond to treatment and manage to carry on. Examining the genomics in detail will provide new ways to intervene and new biomarkers." Dr. March elaborates.