AstraZeneca and Karolinska Institutet to create new Translational Sciences Centre

Thursday, 2 February 2012

AstraZeneca and the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet today announced plans to create a Translational Sciences Centre that aims to discover and deliver biomarkers for clinical use across AstraZeneca’s drug discovery and early development organisation (called Innovative Medicines). The Translational Sciences Centre builds on a longstanding relationship between the two organisations and will be based at the university’s campus in Stockholm.

AstraZeneca and Karolinska intend to operate the Centre for an initial period of five years with AstraZeneca providing approximately $4.5 million per year in funding. AstraZeneca would provide support for several scientific experts, post docs and students to work with Karolinska scientists at the Centre. The company would also contribute state of the art technologies to drive physiological testing and soluble biomarker detection. The Centre is expected to be operational by the end of 2012.

Menelas Pangalos, Executive Vice President Innovative Medicines, AstraZeneca, said:
Our plans for establishing the Translational Sciences Centre with an institution of Karolinska’s caliber is evidence of our commitment to pioneering innovative ways of research, particularly in our Neuroscience Innovative Medicines Unit. Bringing the complementary skills of AstraZeneca and Karolinska scientists under one roof will help us discover clues that lie within the human body, which can be applied to the complex search for new medicines.

Professor Harriet Wallberg-Henriksson, President of Karolinska Institutet, said:
We are happy and proud that AstraZeneca chooses Karolinska Institutet as a partner for the Translational Sciences Centre. It marks the importance and strength of our research. The investment in SciLifeLab makes this collaboration possible and it shows the strategic importance of this investment. I am convinced that collaboration between research and medical industry is crucial for our aim to improve people’s health.

AstraZeneca and Karolinska have collaborated since 2006 to identify novel radioligands and advance the field of Positron Emission Tomography (PET), a modern imaging technique that allows for non-invasive examination of the human brain. The organisations’ complementary capabilities have led to the invention of novel PET ligands, as well as aided in the development of a number of drug development programs. In January 2012, AstraZeneca and Karolinska announced a three-year research agreement to deliver new imaging tools that can help transition molecules through AstraZeneca’s early research and development pipeline.

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business with a primary focus on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines for gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory and inflammation, oncology and infectious disease. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. For more information please visit: www.astrazeneca.com

About Karolinska Institutet

Karolinska Institutet is one of the world’s leading medical universities. It accounts for over 40 per cent of the medical academic research conducted in Sweden and offers the country’s broadest range of education in medicine and health sciences. Since 1901 the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet has selected the Nobel laureates in Physiology or Medicine. For more information please visit: www.ki.se

CONTACTS:

Media Enquiries:
Ann-Leena Mikiver-AstraZeneca +46 (0)8 553 260 20
Claes Keisu -Karolinska Institutet +46 08 524 838 92