AstraZeneca, Karolinska Institutet collaborate on molecular imaging research

Thursday, June 21, 2012 04:29 PM

Global biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and Karolinska Institutet, a medical university in Sweden, have entered into a three year collaborative research agreement that will apply state-of-the-art molecular imaging technologies to generate novel diagnostic imaging tools and further the development of AstraZeneca’s neuroscience R&D pipeline.

AstraZeneca and Karolinska Insitutet have collaborated since 2006 in the field of positron emission tomography (PET), a modern imaging technique allowing for non-invasive examination of the human brain. This joint venture and application of complementary capabilities has led to the invention of numerous novel PET ligands, as well as aided in the development of a number of drug development programs. Continued collaboration between AstraZeneca and the university is expected to deliver new imaging tools for the diagnosis of patients primarily with severe neurological illnesses as well as in pain control. In addition, the alliance will facilitate the development of drugs for disorders such as chronic pain, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, where there is an urgent need for new treatments.

AstraZeneca scientists will supply the technologies and skills required to synthesize and develop new imaging molecules, while the PET Centre at Karolinska Institutet will provide radiochemistry for labeling of the imaging molecules and the PET-studies required to support and facilitate AstraZeneca projects.

“Demonstrating robust target engagement is one of the critical success criteria for transitioning molecules through early research and development. Working with our colleagues from Karolinska Institutet will help us identify and develop new PET ligands and accelerate our efforts to deliver novel medicines to patients,” said Menelas Pangalos, executive vice president of innovative medicines, AstraZeneca.

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