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AstraZeneca to Invest $17.7M in University of Manchester-led Oncology Bioinformatics Effort

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – AstraZeneca is investing £11.5 million ( $17.7 million) in a five-year partnership with the University of Manchester that will focus on developing and using bioinformatics tools in clinical trials to make more personalized treatment decisions for oncology patients.

Specifically, the funds will support research efforts by investigators at the Centre for Cancer Biomarker Sciences at the Manchester Cancer Research Centre who will collaborate with the clinical trials unit of The Christie NHS Foundation Trust in the UK.

According to AstraZeneca, the funds will support projects such as the development of a new bioinformatics system for capturing and integrating clinical trial safety, efficacy, biomarker and drug distribution data in real time, and then presenting this information in easily interpretable graphs. The funds will also support the development of training programs in clinical research and pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic modelling to help investigators understand the distribution and clinical effects of medicines within the body.

The collaboration will allow data from clinical trials to be "reviewed in real time by healthcare professionals and matched with information about cancer medicines," Mene Pangalos, executive vice president of AstraZeneca's Innovative Medicines & Early Development unit, said in a statement. Moreover, "we will be able to modify clinical trial [programs] accordingly and support clinicians to offer more accurate, personalized, and rapid decision-making to patients about their treatment."

The current collaboration adds to existing research partnerships between AstraZeneca and the University of Manchester. Past projects have focused on things like developing treatments for lung cancer, inflammatory research, and developing new drug delivery systems, among others.