AstraZeneca Signs Four New Collaborations with the University of Cambridge

AstraZeneca and its global biologics research and development arm, MedImmune, have entered into four new collaborations with the University of Cambridge in the UK, which further build on their existing partnership. The latest collaborations are part of AstraZeneca's commitment to create a permeable research infrastructure in Cambridge following the company's decision to locate one of its three global research and development centers and its global headquarters in Cambridge.

The agreements build on the existing strategic partnership between AstraZeneca, Medimmune, and the University of Cambridge, which includes a substantial oncology research program and co-location of AstraZeneca scientists at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute, the largest single facility conducting cancer research in the University of Cambridge. The four agreements involve neuroscience research, access to AstraZeneca’s pipeline compounds,a doctoral program, and an in-residence program for researchers.

A three-year collaboration between AstraZeneca, Medimmune, and the University of Cambridge will focus on advancing research and development in neurodegenerative diseases. Scientists from all three parties will collectively address gaps in drug discovery, translational biomarkers, and personalized healthcare approaches for diseases, such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and multiple sclerosis. The University of Cambridge will contribute expertise in disease biology, experimental models and tissue samples, and AstraZeneca and MedImmune will provide access to molecular tools, screening capabilities, and drug-development expertise to enable novel target and biomarker discovery and validation. The research will be carried out at MedImmune and the University of Cambridge laboratories, with opportunities for investigators to work alongside each other and share knowledge.

In a second initiative, a material transfer agreement (MTA) will give researchers from the University of Cambridge access to key compounds from AstraZeneca's pipeline for investigation, such as the EGFR inhibitor AZD9291 for non-small cell lung cancer, olaparib, a PARP inhibitor, AZD2014, an mTOR inhibitor, and AZD5363, an AKT inhibitor.

The collaboration between MedImmune and the University of Cambridge will further include a doctoral training program, whereby PhD candidates will spend significant time at the University of Cambridge and in MedImmune's laboratories, jointly supervised by the organizations during their four-year studentship.

And lastly, an entrepreneur-in-residence program will offer guidance and mentorship to academic researchers at the University of Cambridge who are considering the broader application and commercial potential of their scientific programs. MedImmune will provide support and advice on a range of key issues tailored to the individual academic's needs such as drug and technology development, business planning, intellectual property, market opportunity, partnering approaches, and securing investment.

Source: AstraZeneca

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