Oxford Cancer Biomarkers announces biomarker discovery deal with AstraZeneca

Oxford, UK, 15th April 2013 Oxford Cancer Biomarkers Ltd (OCB), the UK-based company developing tests that allow medicines to be personalised for the benefit of the cancer patient, has today 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.

About Oxford Cancer Biomarkers

Oxford Cancer Biomarkers translates ground-breaking scientific discovery into predictive biomarker diagnostic products that allow medicines to be personalised for the benefit of the cancer patient. Its consultancy arm, Oxford Cancer Solutions works with healthcare providers to implement strategies for better value cancer care. Oxford Cancer Biomarkers is a spin-out of the University of Oxford and has strong links with the Oxford Institute of Cancer Medicine. For more information, please visit www.oxfordcancerbiomarkers.com or contact Nick McCooke, CEO, on +44 1865 784743

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of cardiovascular, metabolic, respiratory, inflammation, autoimmune, oncology, infection and neuroscience diseases. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. For more information please visit: www.astrazeneca.com