Only a couple months into the new year, AstraZeneca has made new priorities and agreements with old relationships. On Tuesday, the company announced it restructured a partnership with long-time collaborator Targacept. Today, AstraZeneca extended its multi-project cancer metabolism alliance with CRT, Cancer Research UK’s commercialization company, for an additional two years.

The initial three-year alliance between AstraZeneca and CRT began in February 2010 and has been expanded to run to early 2015. The agreement aims to develop a drug pipeline targeting cancer metabolism for development of the existing portfolio of four projects and the possibility of at least two new projects being selected by CRT.

The team will continue to work at CRT’s Discovery Laboratories in London and Cambridge, and AstraZeneca’s cancer research center in Manchester. CRT has already achieved multiple milestones and will receive further milestone payments and royalties on the projects that AstraZeneca progresses into clinical development.

Cancer Research UK and AstraZeneca have entered several agreements the past few years. In January 2011, Cancer Research UK’s drug development office signed a deal with AstraZeneca to take combinations of experimental cancer drugs into early phase clinical trials. AstraZeneca doubled its investment in Cancer Research UK’s biomarker research in October 2009 and the companies collaborated in April 2008 to develop a potential anti-cancer compound.

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