AstraZeneca links with Cancer Research UK to debut new functional genomics center

Cancer cells in electron microscope scan
AstraZeneca is partnering with Cancer Research UK to debut a new research facility that will focus on using CRISPR and other functional genomics tech. (Max Pixel/CC0)

AstraZeneca is partnering with Cancer Research UK to debut a new research facility that will focus on using CRISPR and other functional genomics tech designed to uncover new cancer drugs.

The pharma giant and the U.K.’s cancer research and awareness charity will use the center to study the interaction of genes and proteins in cancer in order to develop models of the disease for research using CRISPR and other genome-altering technology.

The new center, dubbed the Joint Cancer Research UK-AstraZeneca Functional Genomics Centre, will serve as a base for academic and business collaborations. The center will be located in the Milner Therapeutics Institute at the University of Cambridge.

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“The best science doesn’t happen in isolation which is why AstraZeneca is committed to advancing innovative science through collaboration,” Mene Pangalos, the company’s EVP for Innovative Medicines & Early Development, said in a statement. “This new center of excellence with Cancer Research UK will combine our expertise in functional genomics and CRISPR technology to identify new biological pathways driving disease and will accelerate the development of new cancer medicines for patients.”

In a separate collaboration with the Genomics Institute in California, AstraZeneca is looking to use CRISPR to uncover genes and disease pathways involved in DNA damage response.