CRT and Manchester University announce biomarker alliance with AstraZeneca

Cancer Research Technology Limited (CRT), the cancer-focused development and commercialisation company, and The University of Manchester today announce the establishment of an alliance with AstraZeneca to develop serological pharmacodynamic (PD) biomarkers.

The alliance aims to investigate biomarkers of tumour cell death using specialist PD assays and may lead to new serological PD biomarkers.

Investigations will be carried out at the laboratory of the Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology Group at the Paterson Institute of Cancer Research, University of Manchester. CRT has exclusive rights to commercialise novel biomarkers identified in the course of the three-year research collaboration. This collaboration includes support for 5 full-time research scientists and builds on the clinical pharmacology fellowship programme announced by CRT and The University of Manchester on 20 November 2006.

Within the alliance the Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology Group, jointly led by Professor Caroline Dive and Dr Malcolm Ranson, will provide cutting edge expertise in PD assay development and implementation. The group specialises in using immunohistochemical, flow cytometric and ELISA-based techniques to progress and validate biomarkers related to cancer. These expertises have previously been used to validate biomarkers of angiogenesis and cell death that are now being employed in a clinical trial setting.

Professor Caroline Dive and Dr Malcolm Ranson commented: "This new alliance further strengthens the relationship between the research partners. The establishment of the clinical pharmacology fellowship programme is already helping us to build skills in an area of national deficit, and the biomarker alliance further improves our abilities to develop new and more effectively targeted treatments for cancer patients."

Professor Andrew Hughes, Clinical Director of Discovery Medicine, AstraZeneca stated: "Tumour cell death is the final event which we seek for many of our molecularly targeted agents. If we can measure this event in a blood sample rather than from a tumour biopsy - the current gold standard; it minimises the intervention for the patient; and maximises the opportunity of detecting what is likely to be a dynamic event by allowing for repeat sampling." and


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