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

Nov. 28, 2006, 1:17 PM

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, officials with the company and cancer center announced today.

“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.

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.

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About the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center: The Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center at Vanderbilt University Medical Center is dedicated to a comprehensive, interdisciplinary approach to cancer care, research, prevention, and patient and community education. With nearly 300 investigators, Vanderbilt-Ingram is ranked among the top 10 centers in total research funding from the National Cancer Institute and generates more than $150 million each year in research support from public and private sources. Vanderbilt-Ingram is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in Tennessee and one of only 39 to achieve this distinction nationwide. The center is consistently recognized among the best places for cancer care by U.S. News & World Report. For more information, visit us online at www.vicc.org.

About AstraZeneca: AstraZeneca is a major international healthcare business engaged in the research, development, manufacture, and marketing of prescription pharmaceuticals and the supply of healthcare services. It is one of the world‘s leading pharmaceutical companies with healthcare sales of $23.95 billion and leading positions in sales of gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory, oncology, and infection products. In the United States, AstraZeneca is a $10.77 billion health care business with more than 12,000 employees. AstraZeneca is listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (Global) as well as the FTSE4Good Index. For more information about AstraZeneca, please visit: www.astrazeneca-us.com.

-VICC-

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