As it prepares to shift its global headquarters to the city, AstraZeneca has signed four new agreements with the University of Cambridge.

The drugmaker says the pacts are part of “creating a permeable research infrastructure in Cambridge” following the decision to locate one of its three global R&D centres and its HQ “in the city that has been home to its MedImmune unit’s biologics research laboratories for 25 years”.

The first is a three-year neuroscience collaboration designed to “collectively address gaps in drug discovery, translational biomarkers and personalised healthcare approaches for  diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis”. The second deal will give Cambridge researchers access to AstraZeneca investigational compounds, such as the EGFR inhibitor AZD9291 for non-small cell lung cancer, olaparib (PARP inhibitor), AZD2014 (mTOR inhibitor) and AZD5363 (AKT inhibitor).

Next up is the setting-up of a PhD programme “to support future leaders in science” and fourthly an “entrepreneur-in-residence” initiative. The latter will see AstraZeneca will offer guidance and mentorship to academic researchers on mattewrs including business planning, intellectual property and securing investment.

The agreements build on the existing partnership between the company and the University, which includes “a substantial oncology research programme and co-location of AstraZeneca scientists at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute”.

Mene Pangalos, head of innovative medicines and early development at AstraZeneca, said that “in a world where partnerships and collaborations drive medical innovation, deepening our roots in the vibrant Cambridge life science ecosystem offers compelling advantages”. He added that the new agreements “will not only bring our teams closer to the world-class academic investigators at the University of Cambridge, but will also enable us to actively support the development of the next generation of leading scientists right here in the UK”.