MedImmune, AstraZeneca’s global biologics research and development arm, and The Johns Hopkins University entered into a five-year, $6.5 million research collaboration, according to a joint press release. The joint research projects will focus on MedImmune’s therapeutic areas of interest, including cardiovascular and metabolic disease; oncology; respiratory, inflammation, and autoimmunity; infectious disease; and neuroscience. This new collaboration model extends to both MedImmune’s biologics and AstraZeneca’s small molecule portfolios.
In oncology, research will explore the role of immune system cells in tumor growth and harness findings to identify new cancer drug targets. In the areas of respiratory, inflammation, and autoimmunity, projects will research the damaging mechanisms underlying rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and validate potential therapeutic targets that may play key roles in the development or progression of RA. In infectious disease, projects will assess monoclonal antibody combinations to aid in clinical candidate selections to more effectively prevent recurrent infections in high-risk patients, such as those with diabetes. This collaboration builds on MedImmune’s ongoing work to prevent serious and costly drug-resistant infections. In antibody discovery and protein engineering, MedImmune will work with the university to find innovative ways to manufacture complex next generation biologic drugs.