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Foundation Medicine, AstraZeneca announce genomic profiling collaboration

Foundation Medicine Inc. announced Monday a multi-year collaboration with pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca to identify alterations found in cancer-related tumor genes that may predict a person’s response or resistance to targeted medicines.

Cambridge-based Foundation Medicine is a molecular information company dedicated to a transformation in cancer care in which treatment is informed by a deep understanding of the genomic changes that contribute to each patient’s unique cancer.

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Under the collaboration with AstraZeneca, Foundation Medicine was granted right of first negotiation for the development of potential diagnostic products.

In a statement Foundation president and chief executive Michael J. Pellini, MD, said: “AstraZeneca has a strong commitment to understanding the patient-to-patient variations that may impact the efficacy of therapeutic candidates. We are helping companies like AstraZeneca achieve deeper insight into their programs and trials with our unique cancer expertise and our ability to provide genomic information that can impact clinical treatment decisions. Together, we expect to enable a more individualized, targeted approach to cancer drug development and clinical trials.”

A Globe story from September 2011 noted how AstraZeneca, an Anglo-Swedish company, was growing its presence in Greater Boston, with a research campus in Waltham and a manufacturing site in Westborough. At that time, AstraZeneca had about 900 employees at those two locations, and it also had about 150 collaborations in the Boston area, including research alliances with Massachusetts General Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Chris Reidy can be reached at reidy@globe.com.
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