IMED Biotech Unit

IMED Biotech Unit

We believe ground-breaking science can transform the lives of patients.

Driving sustainable growth through innovation

We are committed to driving scientific advances in small molecules, oligonucleotides and other emerging technology platforms to push the boundaries of medical science.

~$1 bn

invested in scientific research each year


people with a passion for science


post doctorates globally


publications in scientific journals annually

Where science thrives

We are achieving scientific leadership through a dynamic, agile and entrepreneurial culture that feels like a biotech but has the resources of a major global pharmaceutical company.

Building our scientific reputation

Our scientists are encouraged to publish their work in peer reviewed journals. Demonstrating the quality of the research conducted in our labs, particularly in high quality and high impact journals is key to strengthening our scientific reputation and for recruiting and retaining the best scientists from around the world.

Demonstrating scientific leadership

Through a rigorous focus on great science, we have developed a robust clinical pipeline across our main therapy areas of oncology, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, respiratory, inflammation and autoimmunity. We also continue to progress the most promising projects in neuroscience in collaboration with partners and in small molecule anti-infectives through our standalone company, Entasis Therapeutics.

Inspiring great scientists

Our scientific leadership ambition rests on our ability to attract and retain the best scientists. We continue to attract senior scientists from academia and industry, who are excited by the quality of our science, and the potential of our pipeline makes the IMED Biotech Unit a great place to work.

At the same time, we are committed to inspiring the next generation of scientists by giving them opportunities to develop their skills and follow the science they are passionate about. 

Commitment to science

Our commitment to science is reflected in our track record of publications. View recent examples of high impact and high quality publications co-authored by AstraZeneca and/or MedImmune scientists.

Open for innovation

Our teams are leading the way in creating an open research environment that goes beyond the usual collaboration models.

Partnering with the best

Our agreements with the UK Medical Research Council, the National Institutes of Health in the US, and the National Research Program for Biopharmaceuticals in Taiwan, have enabled academic researchers to start unlocking the full potential of some of our discontinued compounds to develop new medicines for diseases such as Alzheimer’s and cancer.

In addition, collaborations with renowned academic organisations such as Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and with leading charities and governmental organisations, including Cancer Research UK, the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute of Mental Health in the US, are enabling our teams to work side-by-side with like-minded scientists who share our passion for transforming the lives of patients.

Every day, we’re pushing the boundaries of science - in our own laboratories and with our collaboration partners. The way we work with our research partners is open, innovative and science-focused.

But don’t take our word for it. Hear what our partners around the world have to say about working with AstraZeneca.

Collaborate with us

The best science doesn't happen in isolation. Our teams are leading the way in creating an open research environment that goes beyond the usual collaboration models.

Challenge conventional thinking

We believe in combining scientific rigour with a desire to always ask the “what if” question. It’s how we continue to push the boundaries of science.

Entrepreneurial thinking

The IMED Biotech Unit forged a unique new model to drive neuroscience innovation – the virtual neuroscience unit. This bold approach to research and development was designed to address the significant challenges the pharmaceutical industry faces in bringing new neuroscience medicines to market.


Preparing for the future

Delivering the next wave of life-changing medicines requires a new way of thinking. To ensure the IMED Biotech Unit remains at the cutting-edge of scientific innovation, we established our IMED Futures programme – a set of initiatives exploring the next generation of scientific development.

Pushing scientific boundaries

Key skills and capabilities in the IMED Biotech Unit

IMED resources

The IMED annual review 2017

Innovative Medicines and Early Development (IMED) Biotech Unit 2017 - A year in review. Delivering the next wave of scientific innovation

Our people

It takes special commitment to keep pushing the boundaries. To keep believing. To never give up.

Our Chief Scientist programme

As part of our drive for the best science we are committed to working with the best scientists, both inside and outside the pharmaceutical industry. To ensure that we are able to attract top science talent from academia, we have developed our flexible Chief Scientist programme. By tailoring individual arrangements to enable scientists to work with the IMED Biotech Unit full time, part time, or on assignment from a university, we encourage a permeable research environment meeting the needs of both the institution and individual.

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