AstraZeneca and Shanghai Institutes of Biological Sciences announce research collaboration

Friday, 23 January 2014

SHANGHAI, CHINA – AstraZeneca today announced the signing of a research collaboration in the area of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) with the Shanghai Institutes of Biological Sciences (SIBS), part of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), one of China’s major academic institutions.

The agreement focuses on research to establish how newly formed coronary vessels – those that surround and supply the heart – first develop and also aims to assess if the coronary arteries’ main branch could be regenerated. Exploring these areas of research will lead to a better understanding of congenital and adult heart disease which may in turn lead to the development of innovative treatments for patients. CVD is a leading cause of death in China and worldwide.

Under the terms of the agreement, SIBS scientists will work in collaboration with teams from AstraZeneca’s Cardiovascular & Metabolic Disease (CVMD) Innovative Medicines group, bringing together complementary skills that will harness and foster medical innovation: SIBS’ ‘cutting edge’ academic and scientific insights and capabilities; AstraZeneca via its proven track record in global research and drug discovery. Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.

Prof. Yan Chen, Head of SIBS’ Institute for Nutritional Sciences said “We’re delighted to be collaborating with AstraZeneca, a world-leader in biopharmaceutical innovation. Applying the knowledge obtained from research to better understand cardiovascular vessel formation, development and re-generation may shed new light on potential drug pathways and targets within adult regenerative medicine.

“SIBS and the Chinese Academy of Sciences are among China’s leading academic research organisations with excellent scientific reputations. Collaborating with them clearly demonstrates AstraZeneca’s commitment to identifying and partnering around the best science wherever it may be to achieve scientific leadership and find solutions for unmet medical needs,” said Dr. Marcus Schindler, Head of AstraZeneca’s CVMD Innovative Medicines group.

China has over 100 million people with heart disease and is the ‘diabetes capital of the world’ with over 92 million adult suffers. CVD is a major complication of diabetes - about 65 percent of people with diabetes die from heart disease and stroke1. Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disease, including diabetes, is one of three core therapy areas announced by AstraZeneca as part of its strategy to drive growth and achieve scientific leadership. The company’s other core therapy areas are Oncology and Respiratory, Inflammation & Autoimmunity.

Dr. Steve Yang, Head of AstraZeneca’s Asia and Emerging Markets Innovative Medicines group, commented, “AstraZeneca has adopted a more intense focus on early stage academic and biotech alliances with best in class institutes like SIBS. By forging partnerships with leading institutions in emerging hot spots of scientific innovation such as China, we aim to better understand the mechanisms and drivers of diseases, develop and strengthen scientific ecosystems and help bring the next generation of innovative new medicines to patients faster."



About Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular disease remains the greatest risk to life for adults, accounting for 17 million deaths worldwide each year. It is now estimated that the total number of people living with diabetes globally will reach 380 million (7.3%) in 2025 from 246 million (6.0%) currently.

AstraZeneca is using its world-leading expertise to develop products that could be vital in the fight against cardiovascular disease both in the developed and developing world. We focus our early stage, investigational cardiovascular and metabolic small molecule research on three strategic areas: Cardiac Regeneration, Islet Health (diabetes) and Diabetic Nephropathy. Within these disease areas we aim to develop therapies that will stop, cure or slow down disease progression.

About SIBS

Formed in 1999, the Shanghai Institutes of Biological Sciences (SIBS) is continuing the 50 year-old tradition in scientific excellence of eight life science research institutes which were formerly part of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. SIBS’ mission is to build an internationally renowned and advanced group of research institutions with first-class management, achievements and talent. SIBS also promotes the development of China’s biotechnology industries, acts as a training centre and aims to improve the health of Chinese people by further developing the country’s capacity of disease prevention and control. For more information please visit:

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of cardiovascular, metabolic, respiratory, inflammation, autoimmune, oncology, infection and neuroscience diseases. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. For more information please visit:

About AstraZeneca in China

AstraZeneca is one of the leading biopharmaceutical companies in China.
In June 2012, the company opened a new 26,700 square metre facility in Shanghai’s Zhangjiang Hi-tech Park, which serves as the company’s headquarters for China and the Asia-Pacific region. The site also houses AstraZeneca’s Asia and Emerging Markets Innovative Medicines (iMed) group whose mission is to deliver candidate drugs, ‘Proof of Concepts’ and valuable medicines to address the significant unmet medical needs of patients in Asia, develop and strengthen capabilities in translational science via the recent formation of a dedicated team and enable and accelerate external collaborations and partnerships

AstraZeneca’s Global Medicines Development unit (GMD) recently formed a dedicated China team, also based in Shanghai, to help create an innovative and value-added local portfolio to support AstraZeneca’s growth in China. This includes our China Clinical Operations Hub which delivers global, regional and local studies across a number of therapy areas from phase I to phase III. In addition, the company has a manufacturing site in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province and will officially open a new manufacturing facility in China Medical City, Taizhou, also in Jiangsu province, in 2014.



AstraZeneca Media Enquiries    
Vince Docherty (Asia/Global) +852 9470 5983


SIBS Media Enquiries  
Cao Yong
+86 21 5492 0947



1. Factsheet, The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Diabetes Education Program


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