With more than 30 years of academic and biopharmaceutical research and development experience, Craig is Head of the Boston Emerging Innovations Unit, Scientific Partnering & Alliances, within AstraZeneca’s IMED Biotech Unit.

He joined AstraZeneca in 2012 and currently champions an internal team responsible for the generation, prioritisation, and validation of repositioning ideas for small and large molecule compounds.

Craig manages AstraZeneca’s partnership with the NIH/NCATS Discovering New Therapeutic Uses for Existing Molecules programme and Taiwan’s National Research Program for Biopharmaceuticals (NRPB) open innovation programme, among other alliances. He is also the co-creator and lead of AstraZeneca’s expanding Open Innovation platform, which partners the company’s assets and know-how with the disease insight and expertise of academic physician- and basic-scientists to advance pioneering research and therapies collaboratively for the benefit of patients.

After completing his PhD in Biomedical/Medical Engineering at the University of California, Davis, in 1981, Craig has spent the past 25 years working in senior executive roles for major global biopharmaceutical companies, including nine years at Pfizer, gaining extensive expertise in multiple therapeutic areas, with a focus on respiratory and inflammatory diseases.

Craig has more than 50 peer-reviewed publications and 20 book chapters/review articles to his name and is the inventor on six patents. He is also the critical contributor on five marketed drugs: Atrovent; Mucosolvan; Spiriva; Hytrin; and Aluvia.

  Featured publications

Across scientific sector, drug repositioning collaborations: Progress and learnings

Pioneering government-sponsored, collaborative drug repositioning collaborations: Progress and learning. Frail DE, Brady M, Escott KJ, Holt A, Sanganee HJ, Pangalos MN, Watkins C, Wegner CD. 2015; Nature Reviews Drug Discovery 14: 1-9.

CCR2 antagonism of MDSC yields drug reposition opportunity in cancer

Targeting tumor-infiltrating macrophages decreases tumor-initiating cells, relieves immunosuppression, and improves chemotherapeutic response. Mitchem JB, Brennan DJ, Knolhoff B, Belt BA, Zhu Y, Stanford DE, Lin GM, Belaygorod L, Carpenter D, Collins L, Piwinka-Worms D, Udupi GM, Gallagher WM, Wegner CD, West BL, Wang-Gillam A, Goedegebuure SP, Linehan DC, DeNardo DG. 2013; Cancer Research 73:1128-41.

Phase 2 attrition analysis leads to Three Pillars for Survival

Fundamental pharmacokinetic and pharmacological principles toward improving Phase II survival. Can the flow of medicines be improved? Morgan P, Van Der Graaf PH, Arrowsmith J, Feltner DE, Drummond KS, Wegner CD, Street SD.  2011, 29 December; Drug Discovery Today.

The cellular adhesion molecule ICAM-1 plays an important role in asthma pathogenesis

Intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) in the pathogenesis of asthma. Wegner CD, Gundel RH, Reilly P, Haynes N, Letts LG, and Rothlein R. 1990; Science 247:456-459.

By partnering our science, technologies, tools and drug R&D know-how with the in-depth basic science and patient insight of academic experts, together we can innovate and test hypotheses that otherwise would not be possible.

Craig Wegner Head, Boston Emerging Innovations Unit, Scientific Partnering & Alliances, AstraZeneca IMED Biotech Unit