AstraZeneca digs into precision medicine with lung, heart deals

Tue May 12, 2015 7:01pm EDT
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* Drugmaker taking personalised healthcare beyond cancer

* Deal with Abbott to develop diagnostic for asthma drug

* Tie-up with Montreal scientists on heart disease genes

By Ben Hirschler

LONDON, May 13 (Reuters) - AstraZeneca is diving deeper into personalised healthcare with two projects that move the concept beyond cancer into respiratory disorders and heart disease.

Personalised or precision medicine, which tailors treatment to a patient's genetic profile, is an increasing focus for drug companies, especially after an initiative from U.S. President Barack Obama in January.

Until now, however, the focus has been on cancer, where genetic mutations are well-known drivers of disease.

"The time is now right to extend the personalised healthcare approach and the benefits it brings to all of our therapy areas," Ruth March, who heads the initiative at the British drugmaker, told reporters.

"Up to now the science of personalised healthcare has been slower to reach those common disease areas such as cardiovascular and respiratory disease."   Continued...