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12 Dec 2012

AstraZeneca and Isis announce cancer drug development alliance

AstraZeneca and Isis are working together to bring novel medicines to cancer patients.

AstraZeneca and Isis Pharmaceuticals have entered into a new strategic alliance that will see the companies work together to discover and develop novel anti-cancer therapies.

The alliance will aim to discover novel generation antisense therapies, which target disease-related proteins by destroying the RNA involved in their creation.

Isis' discovery platform develops therapies that bind to messenger RNA to block the production of disease-causing proteins.

AstraZeneca will bring its experience in developing personalised medicines to the strategic alliance, which will develop therapies against five cancer targets, including a license to develop and commercialise Isis' experimental drug candidate, ISIS-STAT3Rx.

"ISIS-STAT3Rx is our first cancer drug to incorporate our new technology and we are encouraged by the early clinical data we have observed," said Dr Brett Monia, senior vice-president of antisense drug discovery at Isis.
"We have worked closely with AstraZeneca to design a rapid path to the market for ISIS-STAT3Rx in these patient populations," he added.

Susan Galbraith, head of AstraZeneca's oncology innovative medicines unit, added that the company's expertise in oncology translational science and the development and commercialisation of oncology products, combined with Isis' innovative approach to discovering novel medicines, "reflect a common goal of bringing new medicines to cancer patients".

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