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Oxford Cancer Biomarkers Announces Biomarker Discovery Deal with AstraZeneca

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Oxford Cancer Biomarkers Ltd (OCB), the UK-based company developing tests that allow medicines to be personalised for the benefit of the cancer patient, recently announced an agreement with AstraZeneca for biomarker discovery, with the potential for further collaboration on validation and development of resulting biomarkers.

OCB will work with an undisclosed AstraZeneca cancer drug to discover biomarkers that have the potential to predict responders and non-responders to the drug. Under the agreement, AstraZeneca has been granted an option to license biomarkers from the programme.

Nick McCooke, CEO of Oxford Cancer Biomarkers, commented: “The discovery and development of biomarkers of drug response is becoming an essential component of cancer drug development and commercialisation. With more targeted treatments being made available for more defined patient populations, the need for companion diagnostics is growing. We are a young company but already making a name for ourselves in the cancer biomarkers space, and we are delighted to be working with AstraZeneca on this important program.”

Andrew Hughes, Vice President of Clinical Oncology at AstraZeneca said: “Identifying the right patients is key for the development of AstraZeneca’s targeted oncology drugs. We are excited to be working with Oxford Cancer Biomarkers to explore how their novel approaches can contribute to our biomarker strategy in the early stages of drug development.”

Oxford Cancer Biomarkers uses its proprietary platform CancerNav® to rapidly generate predictive biomarkers for cancer drugs. It has successfully proven its platform through from biomarker discovery to clinical validation.

The company was founded by Nick La Thangue, Ph.D., Chair of Cancer Biology at Oxford University and David Kerr, CBE, D.Sc., M.D. FMedSci, Professor of Cancer Medicine at Oxford University. Its major investor is Quintiles with whom it also has a strategic relationship
in the biomarker space.

Source: AstraZeneca