Vancouver Prostate Centre and Astrazeneca Extend Collaborative Research Agreement

Date Posted: 
2010-01-25

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA – The Vancouver Prostate Centre announced today an extended collaboration with AstraZeneca that sees the Vancouver Prostate Centre receive $700,000 over two years towards research that targets treatment-resistant prostate cancer.

The research, which is being coordinated through the Vancouver Prostate Centre ― a Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research ― evaluates AstraZeneca's androgen receptor-targeting small molecules, as well as, molecules that target cell cycle growth to slow, or stop, tumour proliferation in prostate cancer.

Specifically this research seeks to discover, at the molecular level, how specific inhibitors of cell signaling pathways can block the androgen receptor, a protein that plays a key role in treatment resistance. The protein is activated by male hormones and is known to drive the growth of prostate cancer cells.

This research agreement builds upon an initial collaboration between the Vancouver Prostate Centre and AstraZeneca, which was established in 2008 with the goal of speeding the development process of these small molecule drug candidates into human clinical trials.

"These early-stage drug candidates have the potential to play a significant role in the treatment of patients with advanced prostate cancer.  We are very pleased that a continued collaboration with AstraZeneca will further our research and help us to meet our objectives," says Dr. Martin Gleave, executive director of the Vancouver Prostate Centre, a University of British Columbia (UBC) and Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) Centre of Excellence.

Dr Nigel Brooks, senior director and head of the Urology Disease Area Team at AstraZeneca, says "AstraZeneca is committed to the research and development of new targeted anti-cancer therapies to improve the lives of patients. We have a promising portfolio in development, but there remains a huge need for new treatments for patients with prostate cancer. By continuing our collaboration with the world class researchers and clinicians at the Vancouver Prostate Centre, we look forward to advancing more molecules to clinical trials."

Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer and is the second leading cause of cancer-related death of men. It is estimated that one in six men over the age of 50 will face prostate cancer in his lifetime.

About the Vancouver Prostate Centre

The Vancouver Prostate Centre (VPC) is a National Centre of Excellence and a designated Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research based at Vancouver General Hospital and the University of British Columbia.  The Centre comprises a multi-disciplinary team of 15 senior bench and clinical scientists and more than 130 staff in three state-of-the-art research facilities. In order to discover reasons for prostate cancer progression and treatment resistance and translate them into new services and products to improve cancer outcomes, VPC established PC-TRIADD, a translational research initiative that accelerates discovery and development. PC-TRIADD leverages VPC's research expertise, core facilities, partnerships and project management experience to advance research and provide pharmaceutical, biotech companies and researchers a variety of translational research services. For more information visit www.pctriadd.com or www.prostatecentre.com.

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a major international healthcare business engaged in the research, development, manufacturing and marketing of meaningful prescription medicines, and is a supplier for healthcare services. AstraZeneca is one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies with healthcare sales of US$31.6 billion and is a leader in gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory, oncology and infectious disease medicines. For more information about AstraZeneca, please visit: www.astrazeneca.com

A World Class Centre

The Vancouver Prostate Centre (VPC) has a track record of success that has earned it a reputation as one of the world’s most respected cancer facilities. It is a National Centre of Excellence and a designated Centre of Excellence for Commercialization and Research.

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