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Champions Oncology hooks up with AstraZeneca to work on characterising tumour models

05:30 EDT 21 Aug 2017 | Proactive Investors

Cancer specialist Champions Oncology Inc (NASDAQ: CSBR) has announced a strategic collaboration with Anglo-Swedish drugs giant AstraZeneca PLC (LON:AZN). The pair will work together to develop novel cohorts – groups of individuals sharing a common illness or characteristic - of patient-derived xenograft (PDX) cancer models. These models will be used in AstraZeneca's cancer treatment (oncology) research & development programme in breast and lung cancer, in addition to being added to Champions' existing TumorGraft bank for translational oncology research for academic and industry customers.  Champions' global network of collaborating sites will be used to support this multi-year initiative.  These novel models will expand Champions' bank of oestrogen-receptor-positive metastatic breast cancer and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutant non-small cell lung cancer PDX models. Both cohorts will focus on the spreading of the disease (metastasis) in a previously treated setting and will enable a better understanding of mechanisms of resistance, providing a critical platform to optimize drug development in these settings. “This collaboration with Champions is allowing us to develop and characterise tumour models representing the drug refractory and drug resistant state, a surprisingly under-served space in cancer biology and drug development with most current cell line and PDX models being derived from diagnostic untreated patient samples,” said Steve Fawell, vice president and head of Oncology Science at AstraZeneca. “They will be pivotal to understanding drug resistance mechanisms and the development of next generation drugs," he added. Angela Davies, Champions' chief medical officer, said the collaboration with Astra “represents another dimension in our capabilities to deliver a specific cohort of PDX models to clients to support drug development portfolios in key areas”. “These unique models reflect current standard of care and are not widely available. These new models, in addition to our large existing TumorGraft bank, continue to be a valuable and cost-effective tool for the pharmaceutical industry in their pre-clinical and clinical drug development research," she added. Shares in Champions were up 14% to US$3.64 in pre-market trading.

Original Article: Champions Oncology hooks up with AstraZeneca to work on characterising tumour models

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