AstraZeneca has announced a new partnership with the National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS) and the National University Hospital (NUH) to develop anti-cancer compounds.
The collaboration, which is spelt out in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), aims to further build AstraZeneca's drug development capabilities in Asia and ultimately speed up access to new medicines of potential benefit to patients with inoperable Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC).
HCC is a cancer that is particularly prevalent in Asia and accounts for approximately one million deaths annually worldwide. Studies have also shown that more than 90 per cent of those afflicted with the cancer die within five years due to its inoperability.
Under the MOU, AstraZeneca and the Singapore institutions will be entering into a collaborative agreement that spans both clinical and pre-clinical development activities.
The partnership also includes a Training Programme placement with the Manchester Cancer Research Centre, with whom AstraZeneca has a formal research alliance. Supported in part by the Singapore Economic Development Board, the training programme seeks to train a pool of clinical research professionals for both private-sector and public-sector research labs.
"Singapore is one of Asia's fastest growing bio-clusters and offers excellent IP protection, a population base representative of Asia, world-class scientific and clinical infrastructure as well as access to global talent," said Mr. Yeoh Keat Chuan, Executive Director, Biomedical Sciences, Singapore Economic Development Board.
"AstraZeneca joins an expanding base of leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies that have chosen to develop new drugs and therapies in Singapore. It is a strong testament of Singapore's capabilities in translational and clinical research, particularly in applications for diseases prevalent in Asia."
Under the terms of the clinical development collaboration, two of Singapore's leading research institutions - the NCCS and NUH - will be given access to AstraZeneca compounds which have already undergone initial clinical testing in the West.