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AstraZeneca and The University of Manchester today said they would partner to deliver personalized healthcare for cancer patients through the use of clinical bioinformatics.

Under their five-year agreement, the company and the university said they will apply clinical trial bioinformatics with the aim of better identifying cancer treatments for individual patients.

AstraZeneca has agreed to provide a total of £11.5 million ($17.7 million) to support clinical bioinformatics research led by a team of investigators within the recently established Centre for Cancer Biomarker Sciences at the Manchester Cancer Research Centre. The research will be carried out in partnership with the clinical trials unit of The Christie National Health Service (NHS) Foundation Trust, which focuses on experimental cancer medicine in the U.K.

Projects by the partners will include the development of a new bioinformatics system to capture and integrate clinical trial safety, efficacy, biomarker and drug distribution data in real time, presenting the information in the form of graphs that can be easily interpreted by clinicians.

The collaboration will also support new training programs in clinical research and pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic modeling for investigators to understand the distribution and clinical effects of medicines within the body, AstraZeneca and the university said.

“This collaboration is exciting because it will eventually allow us to incorporate important data from clinical trials into a format that can be reviewed in real time by healthcare professionals and matched with information about cancer medicines,” Mene Pangalos, evp, innovative medicines & early development with AstraZeneca, said in a statement. “We will be able to modify clinical trial programs accordingly and support clinicians to offer more accurate, personalized and rapid decision making to patients about their treatment.”

The collaboration is the latest between AstraZeneca and the university, and builds on scientific collaborations launched in recent years by AstraZeneca and The University of Manchester. The earlier collaborations range from research into novel cancer medicines to progressing treatments for lung cancer, advancing inflammatory research, and developing new drug delivery systems.

“AstraZeneca has long supported the UK science base and this latest collaboration with the Manchester Cancer Research Centre will enable the patients to share their insights with investigators and sponsors more effectively and efficiently than today, enabling a more informed assessment,” added Andrew Hughes, Ph.D., professor of experimental cancer medicine at the university’s Institute of Cancer Sciences.

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