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Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center and AstraZeneca Form Master Agreement to Streamline Research Collaborations

The Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center and AstraZeneca have developed a master scientific agreement to streamline and integrate collaborations in basic, translational and clinical cancer research.“Our ultimate goal is to shorten the time to approval of more effective new drugs and new combinations,” said Carlos Arteaga, M.D., vice chancellor’s Chair in Breast Cancer Research and director of Vanderbilt-Ingram’s Specialized Program of Research Excellence in Breast Cancer. “In the end, the patients win.”

Such agreements provide a basic framework for the basic contractual issues that would be common to any mutual research project. Separate, specific research plans are then developed that can move forward more quickly under the umbrella of the Master Agreement. Specific terms are confidential.

“This framework will enable us to move more quickly to the research that will lead to better treatments for cancer,” said Steve Strand, global director of external scientific relationships for AstraZeneca. “Together, we can move the science forward much more quickly than we could alone.”

The agreement allows Vanderbilt-Ingram and AstraZeneca to combine their scientific expertise and resources around common goals, which include identifying new molecular targets for therapy and “biomarkers” to assess and predict response to treatment. Under the agreement, these researchers and physician-scientists will have the flexibility to identify projects of mutual interest and work in a variety of ways to accelerate progress, including pilot projects to test pioneering concepts.

The integration of “pre-clinical science” (research that occurs before testing in patient studies known as clinical trials) with the design and execution of clinical trials is critical to designing studies that most efficiently and effectively test whether new treatments are beneficial.