New research collaboration set to aid drug discovery

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Global bio-pharma giant AstraZeneca and the University of Adelaide have today announced an exciting new collaboration which will see 50 of AstraZeneca’s drug compounds passed to university researchers to study new therapies.

In return for first rights for AstraZeneca to commercialise any discovery that university researchers make, the university will have access to compounds in several therapy areas, such as cardiovascular, metabolic, respiratory, oncology, autoimmune and infection, and neuroscience diseases.

The collaboration is based on AstraZeneca’s Open Innovation platform, which takes its new and existing drug compounds out of AstraZeneca’s laboratories and into the hands of research centres around the world.

Adelaide Research and Innovation (ARI), the University of Adelaide’s commercialisation arm, sealed the agreement which is a first for South Australia.

“This is an extremely exciting opportunity for researchers at the University of Adelaide to collaborate with the industry-leading scientists at AstraZeneca to develop new medicines,” said Dr Jane Rathjen, ARI Deputy Director. “It’s a win-win situation plus the community stands to benefit from potential new drugs.

“This partnership will allow for access to optimised compounds, technologies, multi-disciplinary science, services and know-how to speed up research outcomes, and most importantly the opportunity to see ideas develop into treatments for patients,” she says.

AstraZeneca and ARI will also agree to fund successful research proposals that result from the partnership which have the potential to expand the reputation of the University of Adelaide and South Australia as a centre for medical research excellence.

Paul Spittle, Company President for AstraZeneca Australia, said, “Furthering the boundaries of science is at the core of what AstraZeneca does, so we’re absolutely delighted to be supporting University of Adelaide researchers who have the potential to find exciting new developments in medicine thanks to this collaboration.”


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