AstraZeneca, Max Planck Institute to create satellite chemistry unit
The Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology (MPI), Germany, will establish a satellite unit in cardiovascular and metabolic disease (CVMD) with AstraZeneca's CVMD Innovative Medicines unit (iMed) in Mölndal, Sweden, to study new modalities chemistry.
The new collaboration will see AZ scientists working side-by-side with researchers from the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology, in the department of Chemical Biology, led by Professor Herbert Waldmann. The satellite unit will focus on novel chemistry and chemical biology in areas of new modality chemistry such as stabilised peptides, macrocycles and conjugation chemistry.
Professor Herbert Waldmann, director of the department of Chemical Biology, MPI Dortmund, said, "This novel concept for a strategic alliance between a pharmaceutical company and a biomedical institute like the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology promises to break new ground for drug discovery.”
Cardiovascular and metabolic diseases represent one of AZ's three core therapeutic areas, with the aim of developing innovative treatments that address the underlying biology to stop, reverse or cure diseases with high unmet medical need. The collaboration with the Max Planck Institute will support identification of new targets in the company's three areas of research focus in CVMD: cardiac regeneration, islet health (diabetes) and diabetic nephropathy.
In March 2013, AZ initiated a similar collaboration with the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet that created an Integrated Translational Research Center (ICMC) for cardiovascular and metabolic disease and regenerative medicine located at Karolinska Institutet's site in Stockholm. The ICMC conducts preclinical and clinical studies aimed at advancing the understanding of cardiovascular and metabolic disease pathophysiology and assessing new drug targets for AZ's two biotech units, the iMed and MedImmune.