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AstraZeneca embarks on oncology research access project

Invites companies to join molecular data resource consortium

AstraZeneca has launched a new collaborative venture to improve industry-wide access to oncology research, teaming up with software company Repositive in a bioinformatics initiative.

Together, the two Cambridge, UK-based companies hope to create a pre-competitive resource that will boost efficiency in sourcing relevant research and so streamline discovery and access for scientists around the world.

The project will focus on creating a platform compiling molecular data from Patient Derived Xenographs (PDXs), with potential for expansion into immuno-competent tumour models.

PDXs are derived by direct implantation of a patient's cancerous tissue into an immunodeficient mouse. They harbor advantages over cancer cell line-derived xenografts as the tumours have not been exposed to the selective pressures, stimuli, damage and genetic evolution resulting from the cell culturing process.

Consequently, experimental results and drug responses using PDXs are more directly translatable to the clinic as they better retain the original structure of the patient's tumour.

AstraZeneca will contribute its expertise in oncology to the platform, while Repositive's work to develop tools for accessing human genomic data will be used to create the resource.

Fiona Nielsen, chief executive of Repositive, said: “We are happy to apply the Repositive skills in data sourcing and web application development with such immediate beneficial effects to the consortia partners.

“Users of the Repositive platform can quickly and easily access human genomic data from a wide range of sources, making it ideal for improving data discovery and access.”

The two companies have invited like-minded industrial and academic companies to contribute to the project, which was inspired by an idea submitted to global life sciences research and development collective the Pistoria Alliance.

Contributors will benefit from early access to the resource and any additional tools developed, as well as priority access with regards to features and data availability.

  • The deadline for prospective consortia partners is 30 September 2016.

Article by
Rebecca Clifford

5th August 2016

From: Research



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