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AZ and University of Texas to collaborate on cancer research

Studies will aim to improve patient outcomes
AZ and University of Texas to collaborate on cancer research

Pharma company AstraZeneca is to work with the University of Texas' MD Anderson Cancer Center to research ways to improve patient outcomes in ovarian and other gynaecologic cancers.

The partners will conduct multiple clinical studies using investigational therapies in development by AZ as well as several epidemiological and outcomes studies.

The data collected from these studies is anticipated to inform the development and utility of existing and future cancer treatments, including immunotherapies.

According to AZ this approach aims to “to re-think how industry and academia can collaborate in deeper and broader ways to help expedite the development of treatments for women with high unmet medical needs”.

Greg Keenan, chief medical officer for AZ's US division, commented: “The collaboration with MD Anderson is ideal as it maximises both our ability to explore these combinations through AstraZeneca's agents while providing us with unique insights and data.”

The partnership will utilise MD Anderson's Moon Shot Programme, which aims to accelerate the process of converting scientific discoveries into clinical advances in order to significantly reduce the number of deaths from cancer.

Gordon Mills, chair of systems biology in the division of cancer medicine at MD Anderson, added: “Ovarian and other gynaecologic cancers remain areas of high unmet need.

“Collaborations that examine new agents and explore disease epidemiology and outcomes have the potential to inform the development of novel and combination treatments and MD Anderson has the ability and expertise required to provide data-rich, rapid trials to inform this combination strategy.”

The research will also utilise existing resources, such as MD Anderson's Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Institute for Personalised Cancer Therapy (IPCT) and novel agents from AZ.

New of the collaboration comes two months after AZ's Lynparza (olaparib) was approved by both the European Medicines Agency and the US FDA as a treatment for ovarian cancer.

AZ has highlighted oncology as one its main areas of growth and the company is aiming to bring six new cancer medicines to patients by 2020 covering a variety of solid tumours and haematological cancers.

Article by
Kirstie Pickering

5th February 2015

From: Research

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