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AstraZeneca in partnership with Illumina

AstraZeneca has entered into a collaboration with gene sequencing company, Illumina, Inc., to develop its next generation sequencing (NGS) platform for companion diagnostic tests.

In the first instance, AstraZeneca intends to apply Illumina’s technology to a novel companion diagnostic test in pivotal studies for one of its investigational oncology compounds. This is expected to be one of the first NGS-based companion diagnostic tests for a novel drug in the world, and its application could speed the clinical trial process, states AstraZeneca.

Under the collaboration, Illumina’s NGS technology will be used to screen a panel of several gene sequences, scanning for all possible genetic variants — known and unknown — rather than specified mutations from a single tumour sample.

“This partnership has the potential to deliver an unprecedented amount of clinical information from a single test. Illumina’s technology will inform doctors about the molecular make-up of their patients’ tumours, enabling them to match medicines to the drivers of disease. Our aim is for doctors to be able to use these tests to prescribe the right medicines for the right patients – bringing benefits to healthcare professionals, payers and patients alike,” says Ruth March, Vice President, Personalised Healthcare & Biomarkers at AstraZeneca.