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AstraZeneca PLC (AZN) Partners Up With Academia in $100 Million Deal


6/28/2013 10:25:07 AM

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AstraZeneca PLC (AZN) and Karolinska Development AB to Establish $100 Million Integrated Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disease Center

Stockholm, July 1, 2013: Less than a year after the government announced a $320 million support package, Stockholm-Uppsala Life Science believes that there are clear indicators that the sector is in robust health despite the recent closing of AstraZeneca’s neuroscience facility:

• AstraZeneca (AZ) and Karolinska Institutet (KI) are to establish a unique integrated cardiovascular and metabolic research centre, with Astra Zeneca contributing up to $100 million over an initial 5 years. For the first time AZ and KI scientists will work together under one director

• SciLifeLab is well on target with its recruitment plans, with over 1500 scientist now engaged across the two sites. A record number of publications are being submitted as the results of the project become evident.

• Protein-science based companies in particular, such as Olink, BioLamina and Atlas Antibodies continue to demonstrate impressive growth, whilst there has been an increase in the number of start-ups, many by former Astra Zeneca employees following the major restructuring in early 2012

The ”Karolinska Institutet/AstraZeneca Integrated Cardio Metabolic Centre” (KI/AZ ICMC) is AstraZeneca’s largest ever collaboration with a Swedish academic institution. It is also the first time that scientists from Karolinska Institutet will work side by side with scientists from a pharmaceutical company under the leadership of one director. Anders Hamsten, president of Karolinska Institutet said: “AstraZeneca, with their strong focus on cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, is an attractive partner for Karolinska Institutet. We believe that this new collaboration model, with Research Groups located under one roof and working in a fully integrated manner will be prove a success for both industry and academia.” The Centre’s aim is to identify and validate novel targets within cardio-metabolic diseases and will focus mainly on three strategic research themes: Cardiac Regeneration, Islet Health (Diabetes) and Diabetic Nephropathy across modalities like small molecules and biologics. Recruitment of a director is already underway and up to six Research Groups will be established at KI/AZ ICMC. In total 20-30 scientists from AstraZeneca and Karolinska Institutet will be full time employees at the centre.

Marcus Schindler, VP, Head of CVMD iMed, AstraZeneca said: “One of the biggest challenges of biomedicine is to translate academic research into drug projects that deliver true benefits for patients and society. We have worked side by side with academic institutions in the past, but this is the first time that AstraZeneca will fully integrate our research teams with an academic institution. We believe that this will speed up the progression from ground-breaking research into the delivery of new medicines and advance our scientific leadership in cardiovascular and metabolic research.”

The CEO of Stockholm-Uppsala Life Science, Ola Bjorkman welcomes the announcement: ““I believe that this demonstrates a promising future for the life science sector in Stockholm-Uppsala at all levels. Both the new AZ/KI collaboration and SciLifeLab are addressing the key issue of translational medicine by contributing a cutting edge research infrastructure. Recruitment of life science talent from abroad remains strong and with SciLifeLab now acting as a national resource, more collaboration with other Swedish sites are expected. The research is being efficiently translated into products and services, through companies such as Olink, Atlas Antibodies and BioLamina, with a new generation of start-ups, many by former AZ employees, emerging. Finally, there is a growing belief among the key actors here thatthese parallel investments in drug discovery, clinical research and the use of patient registers opens new avenues for developing more personalized and outcome orientated healthcare systems.”

CONTACTS

For more information please contact:

CEO, Ola Björkman, Stockholm-Uppsala Life Science +46 70 245 74 97

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