Spin-off may signal new era for Big Pharma R&D

The Wall Street Journal notes the "dis-integration" of the traditional Big Pharma model following yesterday's announcement that AstraZeneca is spinning off its Swedish R&D facility for gastrointestinal therapies. The shop, which developed Nexium, is being spun off into Albireo Pharma, with AstraZeneca as a minority shareholder. David Chiswell, the former CEO of Cambridge Antibody Technology--bought by AstraZeneca and integrated with MedImmune--has been tapped to run the new company. Chiswell says that Albireo has several pre-clinical compounds in the hopper along with a clinical stage program he declined to name. With typical hyperbole, the Journal's health bloggers says the day may come when AstraZeneca may restrict itself to late-stage trials and drug marketing.

- see the release on Albrieo's creation
- check out the report from the Wall Street Journal

ALSO: Albireo will start off with an A round expected to top out at $40 million. Report

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