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Leading the way in novel anti-cancer research

Boston, MA -- New research presented today at an official AACR-NCI-EORTC* press conference highlights the potential of a new approach to fighting cancer -- inhibition of Aurora kinases. The study, carried out by AstraZeneca, represents part of a body of innovative research and discovery work undertaken by the company as part of a broad based development program of novel cancer therapies. Key research presented this week also includes results from a study combining two agents developed by AstraZeneca: an epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitor and the vascular targeting agent ZD6126.

New frontiers in cancer biology inhibition of Aurora kinases:

The Aurora kinase family is important in regulating mitosis and cell division. Because these kinases are only expressed in cells that are actively dividing, they could be an important new target in cancer. Aurora kinases are commonly over expressed in breast, colon, pancreas and bladder tumors and this is correlated with poor prognosis in these diseases. AstraZeneca scientists have discovered selective and potent inhibitors of Aurora kinase activity that may have potential application in human cancer treatment. These inhibitors of Aurora kinase are being investigated to ascertain their potential in the treatment of cancer.

"Through cutting-edge research and development, AstraZeneca hopes to achieve a better understanding of Aurora kinases and their regulation, which could in time be a basis for treating or even preventing cancer," said George Blackledge, Vice President, Medical Director of Oncology, AstraZeneca. "This is part of a broad based development program in cell cycle directed therapies."

Leading the way in combining novel anti-cancer approaches:

New pre-clinical research presented at the meeting shows that combining a vascular targeting agent with an EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor may result in greater anti-tumor activity than
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Contact: Emily Denney
emily.denney@astrazeneca.com
302-885-3451
AstraZeneca
19-Nov-2003


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