AstraZeneca and the Medical Research Council (MRC) have entered into a collaboration aimed at better understanding the mechanisms of human disease.
The collaboration will see the creation of a joint research facility at AstraZeneca’s new R&D centre in Cambridge in the UK. The AstraZeneca MRC UK Centre for Lead Discovery will sit within the new AstraZeneca site at the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, due to be completed in 2016. It will see world class MRC-supported researchers working side-by-side with scientists in AstraZeneca’s high throughput screening group, identifying new methods to better understand a range of diseases and potential treatment options, according to a statement.
As part of the collaboration, which will run for an initial period of five years, academic researchers will benefit from unprecedented access to over two million molecules in AstraZeneca’s compound library, as well as its state-of-the-art high throughput screening facilities at the new site. Research proposals will be submitted to the MRC that will independently assess and select the best scientific proposals from a broad range of therapy areas and diseases. The MRC will fund up to 15 screening projects per year to be carried out at the Centre for Lead Discovery. AstraZeneca will have the first option to enter a negotiation to license any resulting drug discovery programmes of relevance to the company’s therapeutic areas of interest. If this option is not used, the academics can negotiate with other parties.