Almac collaborates with AstraZeneca on diagnostics products

Almac Diagnostic Services in Craigavon is now collaborating with AstraZeneca to develop and commercialise multiple companion diagnostic products

ALMAC Diagnostic Services, a division of the Craigavon-headquartered Almac Group, has signed a master collaboration agreement (MCA) with global pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca to develop and commercialise multiple companion diagnostic (CDx) products.

Almac will work to support AstraZeneca in its drive to bring new therapies to patients globally in disease areas of high unmet need.

Under the terms of the agreement, Almac will develop and validate specific CDx assays for patient selection in various AstraZeneca clinical trials across a range of therapeutic areas including kidney disease, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, and respiratory disease.

It will seek regulatory approval for individual CDx assays in agreed jurisdictions in tandem with linked AstraZeneca therapeutics. To date, a number of programmes have already been initiated under this model.

Professor Paul Harkin, president and managing director at Almac Diagnostic Services, said: “We're delighted to have signed this CDx master collaboration agreement, which represents a further strategic alignment with AstraZeneca, and enhancement of an already strong relationship.

“We are looking forward to working collaboratively together to develop and commercialise these companion diagnostic tests to help identify the right patient populations that will benefit from future AstraZeneca targeted therapies.”

Maria Orr, head of precision medicine at AstraZeneca said: “Precision medicine is at the heart of our ambition to dramatically improve patients' lives globally; it is an interconnected cycle from early research, innovative pharmacology and drug modalities, to clinical trial design and diagnostic development.

“Through collaborating with our partners we can lead the way in a new era of precision medicines for complex chronic diseases. We are committed to matching life-changing medicines to patients most likely to benefit and we believe our collaboration with Almac will help us achieve this.”

Almac has created around 1,000 jobs since October 2020, with plans to recruit another 1,000 people by 2024.

AstraZeneca, which delivers life-changing medicines, employs 8,000 employees across five sites in the UK and supports around 41,000 other jobs.

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