astrazeneca plc-spons adr (AZN) Key Developments
Qiagen NV to Partner with Astrazeneca
Jul 28 14
Qiagen NV has entered into a collaboration agreement with AstraZeneca PLC for the co-development and commercialization of a liquid biopsy-based companion diagnostic to be paired with IRESSA, AstraZeneca's targeted therapy for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The assay will be designed to guide the treatment of NSCLC patients with Astra Zeneca's oral monotherapy anti-cancer treatment when tumour tissue is not available. QIAGEN and AstraZeneca will collaborate to create a new companion diagnostic for IRESSA based on liquid biopsy samples from NSCLC patients, rather than requiring invasive surgical collection of tissue samples. Data from several studies, including the IFUM Study (IRESSA Follow-up Measure) presented at the World Lung 2013 conference, provided evidence of the ability to assess the EGFR status of advanced lung cancer patients using blood /plasma samples. This provides hope for patients for whom surgical biopsy is not an option by enabling them to have their EGFR mutation status assessed using a less invasive method.
AstraZeneca Enters into Cancer Diagnostic Test Collaborations with Roche and QIAGEN
Jul 28 14
AstraZeneca and Roche will be collaborating on developing a plasma-based companion diagnostic test to support AstraZeneca's drug candidate AZD9291, which is undergoing clinical development for non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Separately, AstraZeneca will also be partnering with QIAGEN (Netherlands) in developing a non-invasive diagnostic test that would help identify NSCLC patients that would be suitable for treatment with AstraZeneca's Iressa (gefitinib).
AstraZeneca to Open New UK R&D Centre in Cambridge
Jul 22 14
AstraZeneca has announced proposed designs for the company's new global research and development (R&D) centre to be located at the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, as well as for its corporate headquarters in the United Kingdom. The new centre will boast features such as separation of the work space by glass walls, which, according to the company, would 'promote visible science'. The new facility is also set to become the base for MedImmune's biologics research and protein engineering.
AstraZeneca Enters into Research Agreement with Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology
Jul 9 14
AstraZeneca has entered into an agreement with Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology for the creation of a satellite unit in cardiovascular and metabolic disease, which will be geared towards research into "novel chemistry and chemical biology in areas of new modality chemistry, such as stabilized peptides, macrocycles, and conjugation chemistry. The research will focus on identifying novel targets within the areas of cardiac regeneration, islet health (diabetes), and diabetic nephropathy. The satellite unit is to be linked to the company's cardiovascular and metabolic disease innovative medicines unit (iMed) based in Molndal, Sweden.
Astrazeneca Announces Results of Two Pivotal Phase III Studies KODIAC-4 and KODIAC-5 of Naloxegol
Jun 19 14
AstraZeneca announced that the results of two pivotal Phase III studies KODIAC-4 and KODIAC-5 of naloxegol, an investigational treatment for opioid-induced constipation (OIC). Opioids play an important role in chronic pain relief by binding to mu-receptors in the brain, but they also bind to mu-receptors in the bowel. That is why patients taking opioids for chronic pain can develop OIC. In fact, the incidence of OIC varies and has been reported as high as 81% in patients taking opioids. Naloxegol, which has the potential to be the first FDA approved once-daily oral treatment for patients with OIC, is a peripherally-acting mu-opioid receptor antagonist (PAMORA) studied in adult patients with chronic non-cancer pain experiencing OIC. Primary endpoint data from the KODIAC-4 and -5 studies showed that more OIC patients treated with naloxegol 25 mg had a consistent response of increased spontaneous bowel movements (SBMs) through 12 weeks of treatment compared to placebo [44% vs. 29% (p=0.001 KODIAC-4) and 40% vs. 29% (p=0.021 KODIAC-5)]. The 12.5 mg dose in KODIAC-5 did not show statistical significance for the primary endpoint. The 25 mg dose also demonstrated a higher response rate through 12 weeks of treatment compared to placebo in patients with laxative inadequate response (LIR), a secondary endpoint. Results for an additional secondary endpoint showed that patients taking naloxegol 25 mg in the KODIAC-4 and KODIAC-5 studies were likely to have a first post-dose spontaneous bowel movement 25-30 hours sooner than placebo, respectively (median six and 12 hours for naloxegol 25 mg compared to 36 and 37 hours for placebo, in studies KODIAC-4 and -5, respectively).