MedImmune, UCSF strike translational research deal

AstraZeneca's ($AZN) biologics arm MedImmune has tapped the University of California, San Francisco for a three-year drug discovery and development partnership.

MedImmune will work with UCSF's Clinical and Translational Science Institute to solicit applications for its Catalyst Awards program. The program is designed to help university scientists move their translational research out of the lab and into product development.

Last year, Pfizer ($PFE) sought out UCSF as a partner for the drug giant's Centers for Therapeutic Innovation program to develop new small-molecule drug candidates. But this is the first industry partnership for the university's CTSI's therapeutic track, which focuses on discovery and development of patient treatment options.

"UCSF's innovative translational research capabilities combined with MedImmune's industry experience in this area will help identify and nurture promising early science that can benefit MedImmune, UCSF researchers and ultimately patients," said Dr. Bing Yao, senior vice president and head of MedImmune's respiratory, inflammation and autoimmunity innovative medicines unit.

The partnership will seek proposals in cardiovascular and metabolic disease, oncology, respiratory, inflammation and autoimmunity, neuroscience and infectious disease--therapeutic areas of interest to MedImmune and AstraZeneca ($AZN). The collaboration will build on MedImmune's biologics and AstraZeneca's small molecule portfolios.

MedImmune and UCSF will work together to advance the most promising research projects over the next three years and have the option of extending the partnership at that time. Financial terms around the collaboration were not disclosed.

- read the press release

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