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AstraZeneca and Dako Sign Agreement to Develop Companion Diagnostics for Cancer Treatments
Date:1/18/2010

LONDON and GLOSTRUP, Denmark, Jan. 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- AstraZeneca and Dako Denmark A/S announced today that they have entered into a collaboration agreement to develop companion diagnostic tests for multiple AstraZeneca oncology projects, including biologics and small molecules, in various stages of discovery and development.

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Under the agreement, the companies will work together to develop diagnostic tests to help physicians determine the most appropriate cancer treatment for patients. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The collaboration will leverage Dako's position as a leader in cancer diagnostics and a strong partner in the development of diagnostic tests used in conjunction with drug therapies. AstraZeneca will bring its extensive experience in the development and commercialization of vital oncology products worldwide.

"We believe it is important for pharmaceutical and diagnostic companies to combine their expertise in a strong collaborative approach to enable the development of diagnostic tests for use with drug therapies. Targeted treatment with personalized medicine is the future, and the outcome of this collaboration will be beneficial not only for cancer patients, but is also a significant contributive factor in cutting health care costs," says Lars Holmkvist, CEO of Dako Denmark A/S.

Alan Barge, Head of Oncology Development at AstraZeneca said: "This agreement, under the umbrella of AstraZeneca's Personalised Healthcare strategy, will enable us to develop novel, reimbursable products that can improve patients' lives. The alliance heralds the intentions of both companies to work closely together to develop new drugs linked to diagnostic tests that predict which patients are most likely to respond to treatment, ensuring that we are giving the right treatment, to the right patient, the first time."

Ruth March, Personalised Healthcare Leader at AstraZeneca, said: "This agreement is the first in a series of strategic alliances with diagnostic companies that will enable AstraZeneca to achieve our Personalised Healthcare aims and better serve patient health." 

For AstraZeneca, today's announcement marks the continuation of their commitment to Personalised Healthcare as demonstrated by the launch of IRESSA in the EU for patients with activating mutations of EGFR-TK (epidermal growth factor receptor-tyrosine kinase).

The agreement advances Dako's ongoing strategy to collaborate with strong partners in the pharmaceutical sector to enhance the offering of Dako's companion diagnostic assays.

About Dako

Dako, based in Denmark, is a global leader in tissue-based cancer diagnostics. Hospital and research laboratories worldwide use Dako's know-how, reagents, instruments and software to make precise diagnoses and determine the most effective treatment for patients suffering from cancer. Employing more than 1000 people and operating in more than 70 countries, Dako covers essentially all of the global anatomic pathology markets. Dako is owned by a private equity fund, EQT. www.dako.com

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN)  is a major international healthcare business engaged in the research, development, manufacturing and marketing of meaningful prescription medicines and supplier for healthcare services. AstraZeneca is one of the world´s leading pharmaceutical companies with healthcare sales of US$31.6 billion and is a leader in gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory, oncology and infectious disease medicines. For more information about AstraZeneca, please visit: www.astrazeneca.com

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