Agreement to increase the flow of ideas from laboratory to clinic

The University of Manchester and pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca have signed an agreement to enhance each organisation's research into diseases such as cancer, inflammatory diseases and diabetes and obesity.

The agreement sets out how the University and AstraZeneca will work together to identify new ways to treat disease and to nurture and enhance discovery, pre-clinical and clinical research in a bid to better understand a variety of conditions. Under the agreement the University and AstraZeneca will exchange staff, share facilities and encourage joint ventures through long-term funded collaborations.

The parties will also focus on enabling technologies such as imaging, informatics and chemistry that have the potential to identify and accelerate drug discovery in a number of different disease areas.

The agreement formalises previous close contacts between the parties such as the appointment of Professor Hans Westerhoff as AstraZeneca Professor of Systems Biology and the development of collaborative science networks.

A key component of the agreement is the shared benefits that will accrue to the parties, including: the faster translation of high-impact science to the clinic and joint efforts to secure the UK science base.

An early example of the collaborative approach has been the establishment of a joint cancer alliance steering group focusing on translational science in the areas of cancer imaging, serological biomarkers of cancer and Phase I cancer clinical trials between AstraZeneca and the Manchester Cancer Research Centre. Early successes from this group include the establishment of a biomarkers network to share expertise between the two parties, a 1.25m project over three years focusing on serological markers of cancer; and pre-clinical and clinical fellowships in cancer imaging.

Professor Alan North, University of Manchester Vice-President and Dean of the Faculty of Life Sciences, said: "Te

Contact: Aeron Haworth
University of Manchester

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