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Sage Bionetworks to Model Cancer Pathway Data for AstraZeneca

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Sage Bionetworks and AstraZeneca have begun a collaboration to apply Sage's pathway modeling technology to provide insight into new cancer therapeutics.

Under the terms of the partnership, announced this week, Sage will contribute its computer modeling methodology and AstraZeneca will provide oncology expertise and data on its proprietary compounds.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The collaboration is the third that Sage has announced with a major pharmaceutical firm since it was founded in 2009, adding to existing agreements with Merck and Pfizer (BI 3/31/2010).

The collaboration with AstraZeneca will focus on cancer regulatory pathways and will draw from large cancer genomic datasets and predictive disease models developed at Sage.

The partners said in a statement that the project "will potentially provide data-driven rationales for prioritizing therapeutic targets," and might also identify cancer patient subpopulations that would most likely benefit from new treatments.

Susan Galbraith, vice president and head of the Oncology Innovative Medicines Unit at AstraZeneca, said that the company aims to work with Sage "to build realistic, predictive models of cancers to expand our current understanding of these diseases and potentially harness that knowledge into new target identification, portfolio positioning, and patient selection."

Stephen Friend, president of Sage, said that the computational models that arise from the collaboration will be placed in the non-profit's public repository following the completion of the project.

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