AstraZeneca is involved in two new projects that focus on heart disease and respiratory illness.
The company is partnering with the Montreal Heart Institute, which will search the genomes of up to 80,000 patients for genes associated with cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. AstraZeneca also has reached a new deal with Abbott Laboratories for a diagnostic test to accompany an experimental asthma drug, to identify patients who might benefit from AstraZeneca’s Phase III antibody drug tralokinumab, according to BioSpace.com.
The samples examined by the MHI will include both tissue and blood samples that have been collected over a period of 12 years by AstraZeneca under informed consent from patients who participated in clinical trials to test cardiovascular or diabetes treatments.
Specialists in the field praised the company’s decision, saying the advances made in recent years create a good atmosphere for starting “companion diagnostics,” BioSpace.com notes.
“The time is now right to extend the personalized healthcare approach and the benefits it brings to all of our therapy areas,” Ruth March, who heads the initiative at AstraZeneca, told reporters. “Up to now the science of personalized healthcare has been slower to reach those common disease areas such as cardiovascular and respiratory disease.”