AstraZeneca Acquires DefiniensAstraZeneca has announced that they are acquiring tissue sample specialist, Definiens, increasing their oncology efforts.

AstraZeneca’s MedImmune unit is paying an initial $150 million, followed by additional predetermined milestone payments, to acquire Definiens.  AstraZeneca noted that Definiens has “pioneered a world-leading imaging and data analysis technology, known as Tissue Phenomics, which dramatically improves the identification of biomarkers in tumour tissue.”

Head of innovative medicines and early development at AstraZeneca, Mene Pangalos, noted that Definiens brings “a distinctive technology that will have application across the organisation as well as supporting our immuno-oncology efforts.”

The announcement of the acquisition comes after AstraZeneca earlier unveiled plans to evaluate their treatments with Johnson and Johnson/Pharmacyclics’ approved blood cancer drug Imbruvica (ibrutiuinb).  The first collaboration will assess Imbruvica with AstraZeneca’s investigational anti-PD-L1 immune checkpoint inhibitor MEDI4736.

The second collaboration with Johnson and Johnson/Pharmacyclics will focus on haematological cancers and will explore separate combinations of two different AstraZeneca investigational PI3 kinase pathway inhibitors alongside Imbruvica for the treatment of patients with relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphomas.

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