Pharma News & Trends

AstraZeneca cements links with exclusive Australian partner for cutting-edge cancer research

Pharma News: AstraZeneca is joining forces with the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne to spearhead world-leading clinical trials, aiming to expand access to novel cancer treatments.

AstraZeneca’s oncology research leadership team is currently in Melbourne for a two-day engagement with the globally acclaimed scientists, oncologists, and researchers at Peter Mac. This strategic partnership is part of the AstraZeneca Partners of Choice Network, comprising nine members focused on leveraging collective intelligence to enhance patient outcomes. Notably, Peter Mac stands as the sole non-US and non-European member of this network.

In a parallel move, Amgen also established its Partners of Choice last year, designating Peter Mac as the exclusive Australian-based research centre.

Professor Jayesh Desai, Associate Director Clinical Research and Head of Peter Mac’s Phase I/Early Drug Development Program, emphasised the significance of the partnership with AstraZeneca, stating “Peter Mac’s clinical trials program investigates treatments on the cutting-edge of cancer care. They aim to set the standard for the future and to ultimately benefit Australians with cancer.”

Currently hosting 30 AstraZeneca trials, Peter Mac’s portfolio includes 13 Phase I, 5 Phase II, and 12 Phase III clinical trials, encompassing a spectrum from emerging cancer treatments to pivotal Phase III registration trials evaluating drug safety and efficacy. Among the innovative therapies being explored are antibody drug conjugates (ADCs), a novel approach delivering chemotherapy agents directly to cancer cells with the aim of reducing side effects for patients.

Professor Linda Mileshkin, Peter Mac’s Medical Director of Medical Oncology, is leading a Phase I AstraZeneca trial targeting tumours with the marker B7-H4, potentially offering a transformative treatment for a wide range of cancers.

A forthcoming Phase I clinical trial for CAR T-cell therapy as a potential prostate cancer treatment, led by Associate Professor Ben Tran, represents a significant step forward in developing effective solid tumor treatments. Professor Sherene Loi, Consultant Medical Oncologist at Peter Mac, is actively involved in clinical trials exploring new molecules for breast cancer treatment.

Additionally, Peter Mac will soon embark on a Phase I clinical trial, led by Associate Professor Ben Tran, for CAR T-cell therapy as a potential treatment for prostate cancer. Professor Sherene Loi, Consultant Medical Oncologist at Peter Mac, is actively involved in clinical trials exploring new molecules for breast cancer treatment.

Susan Galbraith, Executive Vice President, Oncology Research and Development for AstraZeneca, highlighted the global collaboration’s emphasis on collective experience and insight to address complex scientific questions for the benefit of patients.

“We focus on attacking cancer from multiple angles, harnessing the power of combinations to drive deeper responses and increasing our understanding of the disease, all with the aim of developing transformative treatment regimens. Our collaboration with Peter Mac will help identify new opportunities to advance the next wave of cancer treatments,” she stated.

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