AstraZeneca in bioinformatics collaboration with University of Manchester

9 September 2015  •  Author: Victoria White

AstraZeneca and The University of Manchester are teaming up to harness clinical bioinformatics to deliver personalised healthcare for cancer patients.


The five-year agreement will see the organisations apply clinical trial bioinformatics to better identify the right cancer treatment for the right patient at the right time.

As part of the collaboration, AstraZeneca will provide a total of £11.5 million to support clinical bioinformatics research led by a dedicated team of investigators within the recently established Centre for Cancer Biomarker Sciences at the Manchester Cancer Research Centre. The research will be carried out in partnership with the state-of-the-art clinical trials unit of The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, which is at the forefront of experimental cancer medicine in the UK.

Projects will include the development of a new bioinformatics system to capture and integrate clinical trial safety, efficacy, biomarker and drug distribution data in real time, presenting the information in the form of graphs that can be easily interpreted by clinicians to help tailor the treatment for patients. The collaboration will also support new training programmes in clinical research and pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic modelling for investigators to understand the distribution and clinical effects of medicines within the body.

Patient insight ‘key’ to understanding new cancer drugs

Mene Pangalos, Executive Vice President, Innovative Medicines & Early Development, said, “This collaboration is exciting because it will eventually allow us to incorporate important data from clinical trials into a format that can be reviewed in real time by healthcare professionals and matched with information about cancer medicines. We will be able to modify clinical trial programmes accordingly and support clinicians to offer more accurate, personalised and rapid decision making to patients about their treatment.”

Professor of Experimental Cancer Medicine, Andrew Hughes, from the University’s Institute of Cancer Sciences said, “Patient insight is key to our understanding of new cancer drugs. The information we get from patients about their experiences of taking new drugs is key to shaping our risk and benefit assessment. AstraZeneca has long supported the UK science base and this latest collaboration with the Manchester Cancer Research Centre will enable the patients to share their insights with investigators and sponsors more effectively and efficiently than today, enabling a more informed assessment.”

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