MedImmune, the global biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca, and The University of Manchester have entered into a new research collaboration to generate cutting-edge protein formulation science.
As part of the collaboration, MedImmune will work with researchers at Manchester's Centre of Excellence in Biopharmaceuticals (COEBP) on testing and understanding the fundamental principles of protein solution behavior in order to find better ways to administer breakthrough medicines to patients.
Protein formulation is one of the critical steps in developing a protein therapeutic as a clinical product which can be administered to a patient. The four-year, multi-project collaboration will enhance research supporting new and more robust formulation approaches for antibodies and novel proteins.
MedImmune will provide funding and in-kind contributions to support several University of Manchester post-doctoral research projects addressing challenges in protein antibody formulation such as the need for ultra-high concentration liquid formulations and room temperature stable products. Specific projects will be selected by a Joint Steering Committee for their suitability in generating breakthrough research. COEBP researchers will have access to state-of-art laboratory facilities both at MedImmune's Cambridge location and The University of Manchester.
"We are excited to enter into this novel partnership with the COEBP, one of the world leading groups in biopharmaceutical development," said Gail Wasserman, Senior Vice President, Biopharmaceutical Development, MedImmune. "Through this collaboration, we hope to deepen our knowledge of the underlying protein formulation science and increase our capability to deliver formulations that will help transform the best protein molecules into the best potential treatments for patients."
This new collaboration complements AstraZeneca's existing partnership with The University of Manchester in cancer drug discovery through the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute, as well as collaborations with the Manchester Collaborative Centre for Inflammation Research (with GlaxoSmithKline) and The North West Centre for Advanced Drug Delivery.
"We look forward to working with MedImmune to generate exciting breakthrough science together in this important research field," says Professor Alan Dickson, Head of the COEBP at The University of Manchester. "Our collaboration will form a distinct, vibrant scientific community, with the aim to formulate products more intelligently and innovatively and ensure accelerated development of key medicines."