MedImmune and University of Cambridge strengthen partnership

Organizations Announce Collaboration to Facilitate Breakthrough Biopharmaceutical Research under a New Framework Agreement

Gaithersburg, MD and Cambridge, UK,  May 26, 2015 – MedImmune, the global biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca, and the University of Cambridge today 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.”

Financial terms were not disclosed.

 

NOTES TO EDITORS

About the Framework Agreement
The Framework Agreement is a collaborative agreement between Medimmune and the University of Cambridge focused on lowering barriers to innovation, fostering growth and building on mutual scientific strengths. The agreement provides an agreed-upon legal contract structure to support rapid implementation and development of the majority of future long-term strategic research projects between MedImmune and the University of Cambridge. This covers agreed upon positions in major contract negotiation areas such as ownership and access to results, licensing and Intellectual Property (IP), publishing, and basis for costings. It is specifically designed to minimize further negotiation time and allow scientists at Medimmune and the University primarily to focus on the science, on project budgets and on rapid implementation of agreed projects”.

About the University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge’s mission is to contribute to society through the pursuit of education, learning and research at the highest international levels of excellence. Cambridge’s reputation for excellence is known internationally and reflects the scholastic achievements of its academics and students, as well as the world-class original research carried out by its staff.  Some of the most significant scientific breakthroughs occurred at the University, including the splitting of the atom, invention of the jet engine and the discoveries of stem cells, plate tectonics, pulsars and the structure of DNA.  From Isaac Newton to Stephen Hawking, the University has nurtured some of history’s greatest minds and has produced more Nobel Prize winners than any other UK institution with over 80 laureates.

About MedImmune
MedImmune is the worldwide 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 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 centers. For more information, please visit www.medimmune.com. 

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Susannah Budington, MedImmune
budingtons@medimmune.com
(301) 398-6717 

Alisha Martin, MedImmune
alisha.martin@astrazeneca.com
(443) 566 2965

Craig Brierley, University of Cambridge
Craig.brierley@admin.cam.ac.uk
+44 (0)1223 766205

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