MedImmune and Danish Diabetes Academy Collaborate to Identify Early Markers of Cardiovascular, Renal and Metabolic Disorders

Researchers to mine digital health records to advance precision medicine approach in developing new medicines for diabetes, cardiovascular disease and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) 

October 29, 2018, Gaithersburg, Md., MedImmune, the global biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca, today announced it will become the first biotechnology company to enter a research alliance with the Danish Diabetes Academy (DDA), an international leader in the education and training of the next generation of diabetes researchers.

The three-year collaboration will also engage the Universities of Copenhagen and Southern Denmark, all working collaboratively to employ digital health tools in evaluating prognostic and genetic factors in the progression of cardiovascular, renal and metabolic (CVRM) disorders, as well as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), which is associated with inflammation and liver cell damage, along with fat in the liver.

The unique industry-academia collaboration will establish three post-doctoral fellowships that will operate within the Universities, in conjunction with the DDA. Fellows will also receive mentorship from MedImmune scientists, providing them with the opportunity to work in a biotech setting. 

Fellows will use cutting-edge molecular technologies together with mining digital health records — including the University of Copenhagen’s extensive database of human genomes. These records provide a global standard for depth and breadth of available data related to glucose, insulin and other indicators of metabolic disease. Researchers will work to identify specific biomarkers that could lead to the development of new diagnostics, and ultimately potential new medicines, specify in CVRM.

Chris Rhodes, Vice President of Cardiovascular & Metabolic Disease Research at MedImmune said: “Through this collaboration we can combine the power of digital technology with a precision medicine approach to evaluate uniquely robust data. Our goal is to identify markers for serious and debilitating cardiovascular and metabolic disorders, which represent a core area of focus for MedImmune. Collaboration has always been a part of our DNA, along with a commitment to nurturing the next generation of translational scientists, which is why we are thrilled to be the first biotechnology company to partner with the Danish Diabetes Academy, a global leader in diabetes research and education.”

DDA Managing Director Tore Christiansen added: “The opportunities that MedImmune has held out to the young researchers, including mentorship and training in their laboratories, are absolutely fantastic. We look forward to a strong future working relationship with MedImmune, realizing the DDA’s ambition of educating the young diabetes researchers of the future in collaboration with the life science industry and academia.” 

About MedImmune
MedImmune is the global biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca, a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of small molecule and biologic prescription medicines. MedImmune is pioneering innovative research and exploring novel pathways across Oncology, Respiratory, Cardiovascular, Renal and Metabolic Diseases, and Infection and Vaccines. The MedImmune headquarters is located in Gaithersburg, Md., one of AstraZeneca’s three global R&D centres, with additional sites in Cambridge, UK and South San Francisco, CA. For more information, please visit

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