December 11, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MEDIA CONTACTS: Ellen Beth Levitt, Johns Hopkins
Tracy Rossin, MedImmune
MedImmune, AstraZeneca’s global biologics research and development arm, and The Johns Hopkins University today announced they have entered into a five-year $6.5 million research collaboration.
This is a broad-scale, long-term industry-academic collaboration for Johns Hopkins. MedImmune and Johns Hopkins will each contribute funding, personnel and materials to address important scientific questions and exchange knowledge through joint research efforts, training programs and access to specialized knowledge, facilities and equipment.
“We believe this significant collaboration with Johns Hopkins University will create a new standard on how academia and industry can work together,” said Dr. Bahija Jallal, executive vice president of MedImmune. “Our partnership with this prestigious research university will leverage each organization’s strengths, advance research in critical therapeutic areas and strengthen Maryland’s presence as a growing hub in the bioscience industry.”
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.
“We look forward to working alongside a company that embodies our own commitment to novel research and to bringing the benefits of drug discovery to patients in need,” said Ronald J. Daniels, president of The Johns Hopkins University. “Our relationship with MedImmune will provide our scientists and students with new opportunities to play a leading role in advancing science and improving global health outcomes.”
This new collaboration model extends to both MedImmune’s biologics and AstraZeneca’s small molecule portfolios. Some of the key projects include:
• Oncology: exploring the role of immune system cells in tumor growth and harnessing findings to identify new cancer drug targets.
• Respiratory, Inflammation and Autoimmunity: researching the damaging mechanisms underlying rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and validating potential therapeutic targets that may play key roles in the development or progression of RA.
• Infectious disease: assessing 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.
• Antibody Discovery and Protein Engineering: working with the university to find innovative ways to manufacture complex next generation biologic drugs.
“We are excited about the opportunity for our scientists to collaborate with MedImmune researchers to accelerate the development of new therapies to treat a variety of serious diseases such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and certain types of cancer,” said Landon King, executive vice dean of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “We believe that by working together to leverage the strengths of each organization, we can make significant advances.”
This initiative is one of several regional collaborations by MedImmune to actively work with leading research institutions and the state to advance Maryland as a top bioscience cluster, foster innovative science and ensure accelerated development of key medicines.
MedImmune is the worldwide biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca, a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of small molecule and biologic prescription medicines. MedImmune is pioneering innovative research and exploring novel pathways across key therapeutic areas, including respiratory, inflammation and autoimmunity; cardiovascular and metabolic disease; oncology; neuroscience; and infection and vaccines. The MedImmune headquarters is located in Gaithersburg, Md., one of AstraZeneca’s three global R&D centers. For more information, please visit www.medimmune.com.
About The Johns Hopkins University
The Johns Hopkins University is a global leader in discovery, education and professional practice, dedicated since 1876 to putting knowledge to work for humanity. Johns Hopkins was established on what was then a revolutionary idea, that universities must do more than teach the collected wisdom of the past. Founding President Daniel Coit Gilman argued that they must also advance human knowledge and apply that knowledge for the common good. Gilman’s philosophy guides today’s Johns Hopkins, where faculty and students are partners in learning and discovery. Together, they explore what makes us human — culture and society, art and literature, life science, health and medicine. Together, they study what drives the universe where we live. Together, they use their knowledge to make tomorrow better. For more information, please visit www.jhu.edu.