AstraZeneca and MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology to launch joint research fund

AstraZenecaAstraZeneca has announced its intention to collaborate with the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology (MRC LMB) to fund a range of pre-clinical research projects aimed at better understanding the biology of disease. Projects supported by the fund are likely to involve scientists from the two organisations working side by side, either within the MRC LMB at the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, the site of the company's future strategic R&D centre and global corporate headquarters, or in AstraZeneca and MedImmune research facilities. As part of the planned collaboration, AstraZeneca would contribute up to approximately £6 million ($10 million) and MRC LMB up to approximately £3 million ($5 million) over a period of five years, as well as in-kind scientific input to share knowledge and technologies. Decisions on which projects will receive support from the fund will be made jointly by MRC LMB and AstraZeneca.

Menelas Pangalos, Executive Vice President of Innovative Medicines and Early Development at AstraZeneca, said: "The aim of this joint fund will be to encourage truly innovative scientific thinking. We want to enable and encourage our scientists to push the boundaries of science, on the door step of our Cambridge headquarters, with one of the best scientific institutes in the world. Collaboration and scientific exchange are at the heart of AstraZeneca's innovation-led strategy, and this new fund will support our researchers to do exactly that."

Sir Hugh Pelham, Director of the MRC LMB, said: "This is a very exciting opportunity, in which AstraZeneca and the MRC LMB would be able to share knowledge and resources to better understand the fundamental processes that underlie normal function and disease. The creation of a joint fund would further strengthen our existing and long standing relationship with AstraZeneca, allowing our scientists to work together, sharing ideas and expertise for the benefit of patients."

Projects supported by the fund would be pre-competitive and would not be specifically targeted towards drug development, but would feed into the existing research and development activities of the two organisations, with the results published in peer reviewed journals.

About the MRC LMB
The Medical Research Council (MRC) Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) is one of the world's leading research institutes. Discoveries and inventions developed at the LMB, for example DNA sequencing and methods to determine the structure of proteins, have revolutionised all areas of biology. Its scientists work to advance understanding of biological processes at the molecular level. This information will help us to understand the workings of complex systems, such as the immune system and the brain, and solve key problems in human health.

About MedImmune
MedImmune is the worldwide biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca. MedImmune is pioneering innovative research and exploring novel pathways across key therapeutic areas, including respiratory, inflammation and autoimmunity; cardiovascular and metabolic disease; oncology; neuroscience; and infection and vaccines. The MedImmune headquarters is located in Gaithersburg, Md., one of AstraZeneca's three global R&D centres.

About AstraZeneca
AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of cardiovascular, metabolic, respiratory, inflammation, autoimmune, oncology, infection and neuroscience diseases. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide.