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AstraZeneca selects OHSU Knight Cancer Institute as global ‘partner of choice’

OHSU will join the company’s global precision oncology network, enhance real-time information, knowledge sharing to benefit patients
A masked female scientist in blue protective gloves transfers liquid to a vial from a dropper, in a laboratory.
The OHSU Knight Cancer Institute is one of nine institutions around the globe and just one of three in the United States selected to join AstraZeneca's Partner of Choice network in precision oncology. (Getty Images)

The OHSU Knight Cancer Institute is one of nine institutions around the globe – and just one of three in the United States – selected to join AstraZeneca’s “Partner of Choice” network in precision oncology. Through this unique collaboration, the institute will engage with AstraZeneca and global partners via network meetings, investigator-initiated clinical trials as well as research collaborations.

AstraZeneca says the data and novel findings to come from the network collaboration – as well as what is learned in clinical trials – won’t “just be sitting on the shelf; rather, they’ll be shared among partner institutions to be implemented as best practices for patients.” The pharmaceutical company is funding clinical and nonclinical research proposals from investigators within this network, aimed at accelerating novel scientific research and innovative clinical trial design, and precision medicine strategies.

Headshot of Gordon Mills, M.D., Ph.D., a ginger-haired man in glasses and a suit
Gordon Mills, M.D., Ph.D. (OHSU/Kristyna Wentz-Graff)

“We are thrilled to join this worldwide network of precision oncology experts,” says Gordon Mills, M.D., Ph.D., director of the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute’s precision oncology program, and one of the AstraZeneca site leads at OHSU. “Through this important collaboration, we will have access to the latest drugs, and clinical trial data, to help ensure our patients have access to cutting edge treatment options.”

Mills says the Knight Cancer Institute’s SMMART clinical trial platform was of particular interest to AstraZeneca. The company is “intrigued” by the clinical trial’s early findings, and is interested in exploring how the Partner of Choice network can help further the work in precision oncology. The Knight Cancer Institute’s expertise in hematology/oncology, immune-oncology and cancer early detection are also of great interest to the network.   

“This partnership will help us push the boundaries of science to change the practice of medicine, transform the lives of patients living with cancer, and ultimately eliminate cancer as a cause of death,” says Ezo Gruyters, vice president of external R&D for AstraZeneca. “This network is bringing together nine of the world’s foremost oncology medical centers to apply collective brainpower in expediting research in some of the hardest-to-treat cancers. We are glad to have the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute on board.”

Other participating sites include:

  • Cambridge Cancer Center (UK)
  • Institute Gustave Roussy (France)
  • Johns Hopkins University (US)
  • Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (US)
  • Peter MacCallum Cancer Center (Australia)
  • Princess Margaret Cancer Center (Canada)
  • Universidad de Navarra (Spain)
  • Vall D’ Hebron Institute of Oncology (Spain)
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