MedImmune, the global biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca, and the University of Cambridge this week announced a new five-year, multi-project collaboration with the University’s Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology (CEB). The project will focus on generating breakthrough research in biopharmaceutical development (BPD), a field that includes cell engineering, continuous processing, formulation and analytical science, to support development of potential new therapies.
The research collaboration is the first under a new Framework Agreement between MedImmune and The University of Cambridge, designed to lower barriers to innovation, support rapid implementation of long-term research projects, and foster further collaborations between Medimmune and the University.
MedImmune and CEB will use an innovative partnership model to identify and develop multiple leading-edge strategic research projects, drawing on resources and expertise from both organizations. Scientists and academics from MedImmune and CEB will work alongside each other to advance bioprocessing research. Overall, the partnership will benefit both MedImmune and CEB by providing a range of educational opportunities to cultivate and support BPD scientists.
"Working with leading academics at a world-class University gives us a unique ability to shape the drug development processes of the future," said Dr. Gail Wasserman, Senior Vice President, Biopharmaceutical Development, MedImmune. "It is a great example of how to engage the best scientific expertise available and to support the development of talented scientists. This partnership will have a significant impact on MedImmune’s capacity to advance research in critical treatment areas, acting as a beacon of BPD research excellence with the critical mass to attract further research and to provide educational opportunities for the next generation of scientists."
Researchers and academics from MedImmune and CEB will move freely between sites and state-of-the-art facilities, including, when completed later this year, CEB’s new teaching and research complex at the University’s science campus in West Cambridge, to pursue innovative projects using complementary cutting-edge technologies and expertise. The collaboration model will also seek additional grant funding and other opportunities where appropriate to help create further critical mass in high quality BPD research.
MedImmune and CEB have a long, rich history of productive partnerships, and this latest collaboration reinforces the organizations’ commitment to creating a permeable research infrastructure in Cambridge. The agreement will complement existing strategic partnerships between MedImmune, AstraZeneca and the University of Cambridge. The new agreement also underscores MedImmune’s emphasis on growing the biotech hubs near R&D facilities in Gaithersburg, MD and Cambridge, UK.
"We are delighted to build on the strong relationship with MedImmune and look forward to generating truly novel science to support the development of better medicines," said Professor Nigel Slater, Head of the CEB at The University of Cambridge. "This collaboration is designed to harness the best of MedImmune and CEB through shared locations, people and equipment, and a strong focus on educational opportunities to support the next generation of leading scientists. We look forward to making this a real success."