AstraZeneca to partner with Cambridge cancer centres

AstraZeneca has entered into an agreement with the University of Cambridge and Cancer Research UK for a two-year collaboration on three pre-clinical and clinical oncology projects. This agreement comes weeks after the company announced that it would be moving its headquarters and main UK research facility to the city. The three projects involve:

  • Working with the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute and the University of Cambridge Department of Oncology to evaluate a new technology that will allow clinicians to monitor the activity of a tumour – including its progression, response to therapy and the onset of drug resistance – through blood tests and without the need for biopsies. Based on the Cambridge Institute’s pioneering techniques and AstraZeneca’s treatment expertise, the aim of the collaboration is to use the tumour DNA present in a patient’s blood to better understand the genetic makeup of their cancer and therefore the right therapy to tackle it.
  • Working with the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute, the University of Cambridge Department of Oncology at Addenbrooke’s Hospital and Cambridge University Hospitals to test the potential effectiveness of AstraZeneca’s investigational therapies olaparib and AZD2014 in high-risk prostate cancer patients who currently have a poor disease prognosis. The compounds will be tested in both pre-clinical models and early-phase clinical trials.
  • Working with the Babraham Institute, the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute and the University of Cambridge Department of Oncology at Addenbrooke’s Hospital to evaluate new therapeutic approaches for patients with pancreatic cancer, a disease with an extremely poor prognosis and few treatments available. The collaboration will focus on identifying the best drug combinations for AstraZeneca’s investigational compound selumetinib in pre-clinical models.