AstraZeneca’s Foray into Parp Inhibitors Started in 2006

AstraZeneca stands to benefit greatly from the successful studies, to date, on the use of Parp Inhibitors in the treatment of cancer. The targeted treatment received mass publicity in June 2009 when a study came out showed great promise and results. So how did AstraZeneca become involved with parp inhibitors? In 2006, AstraZeneca acquired a privately owned UK-based pharmaceutical company experimenting with parp inhibitors in the treatment of cancer. The company, KuDOS Pharmaceuticals Limited, was bought for nearly $200 million. At the time, AstraZeneca put out a press release stating, in part:

“The acquisition of KuDOS Pharmaceuticals represents an important strategic step for AstraZeneca: strengthening its portfolio of promising cancer treatments from external opportunities and also demonstrating its commitment to discover, develop and bring to market innovative therapies.

This transaction provides AstraZeneca with a widely-recognised expert group and technology platform in an area of research that complements internal capabilities in oncology, one of the company’s key therapy areas. The DNA repair platform developed by KuDOS Pharmaceuticals, in association with its founder Professor Stephen Jackson of Cambridge University, includes several different approaches towards inhibition of enzymes involved in the responses to various types of DNA damage. DNA repair inhibitors have the potential to kill cancer cells either as stand-alone therapy or by enhancing the efficacy of chemo- and radio-therapies.”

Now AstraZeneca stands to profit nicely if the study of parp inhibitors continue to produce positive results. Parp inhibitors have been shown to stop tumor cell DNA from repairing itself when a patient goes through chemotherapy. That’s a vital step forward in the treatment of cancer. If further studies continue to back the initial results, then parp inhibitors will be considered one of the biggest breakthroughs in the treatment of cancer in decades. And AstraZeneca will be at the forefront of that movement, thanks to a purchase made in 2006 that is paying off big for AstraZeneca and for those hoping for advances in cancer treatment.

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