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NCCN, Abraxis BioScience and AstraZeneca Announce Collaboration to Conduct Anti-Cancer Drug Studies

Date Posted: Wednesday, October 08, 2008

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The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN), Abraxis BioScience, and AstraZeneca has announced that they have entered into a collaboration to conduct multiple investigator-initiated studies of Abraxis BioScience’s anti-cancer drug ABRAXANE® for Injectable Suspension (paclitaxel protein-bound particles for injectable suspension) (albumin bound), which is based on the company’s proprietary tumor targeting technology known as the nab™ platform.

The NCCN studies will evaluate ABRAXANE in the treatment of breast, non-small cell lung, head and neck, melanoma and ovarian cancers. The clinical research will include investigations of tumor gene expression by microarray and the expression of SPARC, (secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine), a protein that is over expressed and secreted in many cancers.

SPARC, a known prognostic factor for poor survival in a number of tumor types, is an albumin binding protein that may mediate an enhanced anti-tumor effect of ABRAXANE via a SPARC- albumin interaction.

“Collaborating with NCCN Member Institutions allows us to tap into their collective expertise to develop safer and more effective treatments for cancer. ABRAXANE has become a leading treatment option for metastatic breast cancer, and we are pleased to support this critical research designed to investigate ABRAXANE in several oncology indications,” said Patrick Soon-Shiong, M.D., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Abraxis BioScience. “The research will also evaluate whether SPARC expression leads to increased clinical response with ABRAXANE due to the interaction of SPARC and albumin.”

Abraxis and AstraZeneca, which have a co-promotion agreement for marketing ABRAXANE in the United States, are providing funding in support of the clinical studies. Investigators at seven NCCN Member Institutions are recipients of awards from NCCN for the clinical studies conducted at their centers.

"AstraZeneca is pleased to support the NCCN Oncology Research Program in collaboration with Abraxis Oncology," said Lisa Schoenberg, Vice President of Specialty Care, AstraZeneca. "This program can be beneficial by providing a better understanding of ABRAXANE in different tumor types. Support of the NCCN program is further evidence of AstraZeneca’s commitment to oncology research."

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