AstraZeneca’s MedImmune unit is linking up with Cancer Research UK’s commercial arm CRT to set up a joint laboratory in Cambridge focusing on novel biologic oncology treatments.
As part of the collaboration, which will initially run for five years, scientists from both organisations will work side-by-side at the new CRUK-MEDI Alliance Laboratory. The charity will provide set-up and operational funding and will contribute a portfolio of drug targets, while MedImmune will oversee lab activities and provide access to its human antibody phage display libraries “and established antibody-engineering technologies”.
MedImmune head Bahija Jallal, noting that oncology is a core therapeutic area for AstraZeneca, said the collaboration “represents an innovative public-private business model for biologic drug development as we will share knowledge and expertise in a dedicated laboratory”. Keith Blundy, CRT chief executive, added that this “unique partnership will bring together cutting-edge research with the most advanced antibody technologies industry can offer under one roof”.

He went on to say “it’s the first of what we hope will be many such pioneering collaborations”.