AstraZeneca has expanded its existing collaboration with the US-based Sarah Cannon Research Institute (SCRI) for the development of targeted oncology compounds to include additional product candidates and a molecular profiling initiative.

In late December 2010, AZ and SCRI announced a strategic partnership under which the Institute would provide clinical programme development and design, medical oversight and clinical trial management for a novel targeted oncology compound from the AZ pipeline.

This relationship now extends to clinical-programme development leadership, medical expertise and oversight, as well as operational trial management, for early-phase clinical development of multiple oncology compounds, the partners noted.

Genetic profiles

In addition, SCRI will work with AstraZeneca to identify potential patients for clinical trials and explore biomarkers that predict response to specific treatments. This initiative includes classifying tissue based on genetic profiles.

AstraZeneca is one of the initial participants in SCRI’s molecular profiling programme, which is part of a broader personalised medicine initiative across the United States and United Kingdom.

SCRI conducts community-based clinical trials in oncology and cardiology through affiliations with more than 700 physicians in these two countries.

“Building upon this unique collaboration with SCRI allows us to continue honing our capabilities to deliver high-quality research in a timely and cost-effective manner,” said Professor Andrew Hughes, AstraZeneca’s vice president of early clinical development.

 “Through this cutting-edge programme design we can rapidly and effectively implement clinical trials with greater access to a network of cancer patients for enrolment,” he added.