arm based on the specific aberration in their tumour. One such
trial by Cancer Research UK is run in collaboration with
AstraZeneca and Pfizer, who will provide access to up to 14
different drugs - 12 from AstraZeneca and 2 from Pfizer.
We recently announced collaborations with Qiagen to
develop a diagnostic both in Europe and a companion
diagnostic in the United States. Gefitinib is the first EGFR TKI
in Europe with a label allowing the use of circulating tumour
DNA (ctDNA) obtained from a blood sample, to be used for the
SPONSORED FEATURE: ASTRAZENECA
30 CANCER CONTROL 2015
assessment of EGFR mutation status in those
patients where a tumour sample is not an option.
Roche is collaborating with us to develop a
companion diagnostic for AZD9291. Successful
drug discovery requires novel mechanisms of
collaboration across academia and industry - a more
open approach to innovation and an approach which
shares both the risks and the rewards.
In summary, the explosion of information about
the genetic aberrations underlying cancer has led to
several changes in the paradigm of how we develop
drugs for this disease. The nature of clinical trials
designed to address this new understanding is
already changing and will change further. Far from
there being a decline in innovation in pharmaceutical
development, I see that we are in one of the most exciting times
in cancer drug development with innovation in every aspect of
how we discover and develop new therapies. I have no doubt
that it is only by working together across academia and
industry and sharing our scientific expertise that we stand the
best chance of reaching our bold ambition of one day
eliminating cancer as a cause of death. l
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Research Candidate Clinical
Figure 2: The 5R framework for AZD9291
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