The University of Manchester and AstraZeneca have entered into a strategic collaboration to develop cutting-edge technologies designed to enhance the way drugs work and deliver better health outcomes for patients. Together, they are launching the North West Center for Advanced Drug Delivery, which will be housed in Manchester Pharmacy School and will have links into a wide range of research groups throughout the university.
The center will deliver enhanced fundamental understanding of drug delivery systems including relevant aspects of biology and physiology in cancer and other therapeutic areas AZ is engaged in. The longer term ambition of the collaboration is to deliver a portfolio of advanced drug delivery technologies for use with AZ drugs.
The collaboration will run for five years, with academic researchers and AZ scientists benefiting from their close proximity and the increased open innovation across the two organizations.
AZ scientists will be fully engaged in research projects, while University of Manchester researchers have the opportunity to apply their science in the company's drug development programs.
The new center will be led by professor Nicola Tirelli from the academic side and by Dr. Marcel de Matas from AZ. It will see world-class researchers across a range of disciplines working side-by-side with scientists in AZ's pharmaceutical development group based on the Macclesfield Campus in Cheshire.
This work also complements another partnership at the Manchester Pharmacy School, in which scientists from the Quantitative Clinical Pharmacology organization at AZ have joined with academics from the school to form a Modeling and Simulation Center.
In addition, scientists from AZ Pharmaceutical Development also plan to engage more closely with the delivery of undergraduate and postgraduate courses at the Manchester Pharmacy School. This will involve AZ staff teaching some elements of academic courses, with students and academic staff also visiting AZ.
Dr. Victoria Silkstone, placements lead from the Manchester Pharmacy School, said, "This collaboration will provide students with a first-hand view of what it means to work in the pharmaceutical industry and will provide potential opportunities for our talent to be considered for any suitable roles that might be available at AZ at a time when competition for pharmacy jobs is increasing."
Silkstone said, "The close proximity between our two facilities and the great pool of talent in both organizations provides considerable potential for the creation of groundbreaking innovations in advanced drug delivery, which we hope will make a meaningful difference to the health of patients suffering from serious diseases."