AstraZeneca announced on Sept. 8, 2015 that it will provide 11.5 million pounds (approximately 1.8 million US dollars) to the University of Manchester’s Centre for Cancer Biomarker Sciences over the next five years for the development of a new bioinformatics system to monitor patients in clinical trials. Specifically, the project will measure trial safety, drug efficacy, biomarkers, and drug distribution data in real time, and will use this information for the creation of visual aids such as graphs. The graphs will provide healthcare providers with new tools to make decisions about cancer medications. The research will be carried out at the clinical trials unit of The Christie NHS Foundation Trust.
In addition to the bioinformatics tool, the grant will allow researchers access to training programs in clinical research and pharmacodynamic/pharmacokinetic modeling and will also allow better interaction between patients and those running the clinical trials. “Patient insight is key to our understanding of new cancer drugs,” commented Andrew Hughes, professor of experimental cancer medicine from the University of Manchester’s Institute of Cancer Sciences, in a press release. “The information we get from patients about their experiences of taking new drugs is key to shaping our risk and benefit assessment.”