MedImmune, AstraZeneca’s global biologics R&D arm, and Cancer Research U.K., with its commercial arm Cancer Research Technology (CRT), have entered into an innovative collaboration to establish a joint laboratory in Cambridge, U.K. The new laboratory will focus on the discovery and development of novel biologic cancer treatments over an initial five-year period.
Scientists from both organizations will work side-by-side on multiple oncology projects at the new CRUK-MEDI Alliance Laboratory. Cancer Research U.K. will provide set-up and operational funding for the laboratory and will contribute a portfolio of novel drug targets together with a team of scientists. MedImmune will oversee the laboratory activities and provide access to its human antibody phage display libraries and established antibody-engineering technologies. The joint team will share knowledge and experience to discover and develop antibodies to treat cancer.
Bahija Jallal, executive vice president, MedImmune, said, “Our collaboration represents an innovative public-private business model for biologic drug development as we will share knowledge and expertise in a dedicated laboratory to discover potentially ground-breaking medicines for cancer patients.”
Biological therapies are a major priority in Cancer Research U.K.’s new research strategy, which includes a commitment to increase investment in this area over the next few years. Collaborations that unite leading researchers together with latest technology platforms are a fundamental part of this strategy, helping turn new discoveries into treatments that can benefit patients as quickly as possible.
“The creation of the CRUK-MEDI Alliance laboratory underscores our strong commitment to building a broad science base across the U.K. and deepening our research roots here in Cambridge,” said Jane Osbourn, vice president of R&D and Cambridge site leader, MedImmune. “Through this transformative collaboration, Cancer Research U.K. will have access to MedImmune’s capabilities and technology to help them develop preclinical candidates, while MedImmune will benefit from access to Cancer Research U.K.’s principal investigators and scientists.”