Responsible R&D

What is Responsible R&D at AstraZeneca?

Development of an innovative product portfolio strategy to drive global health outcomes by:

  • Addressing unmet medical needs and barriers to patient journey
  • Increasing the speed and breadth of patient access
  • Driving excellence in product life-cycle management
  • Striving to understand long-term impacts of scientific advances

Our approach

AstraZeneca has a robust pipeline and we recognise the impact we can make to the treatment of NCDs for patients around the world.  We consider many settings, including low and middle-income countries, in clinical trial development to incorporate new and relevant clinical evidence as it applies to these geographies and provide early access. We engage in collaborations to advance scientific understanding and build local capacity for R&D. We invest in science and technology, such as digitalisation and precision medicine, which can help reduce costly infrastructure and ensure the patient receives the treatment they need most effectively. These activities help us reach more patients responsibly by designing for unmet needs and taking a more comprehensive view in the R&D process. 

Our stories

Improving local R&D capacity

An external collaboration platform in R&D, education, technology and government affairs, iDREAM is an initiative being implemented through local bio-hubs in our Emerging Markets. These bio-hubs improve local capacity for R&D to address local needs. In 2018, AstraZeneca launched iDREAM hubs in Russia, Brazil and Taiwan; and in 2019 implemented hubs in China, Argentina and India.

Following all of our efforts to bring innovation to patients at a country level, as part of the next phase in our iDREAM journey we aimed to connect this culture across the whole region. In December 2018 at the University of Cambridge, our cross-functional AstraZeneca International Science Board team launched the inaugural International Future Healthcare Forum, bringing together our iDREAM hubs from Russia, Brazil and Taiwan, as well as potential hubs from Australia, Turkey and China, to share and collaborate on the latest developments in life sciences innovation.

This annual forum showcased our iDREAM initiative and demonstrated the value of an integrated science ecosystem, connecting education, R&D and government affairs across our International region. It also allowed our hubs, as well as potential hubs, to pursue opportunities with potential partners to drive the next wave of biomedical innovation. 

Collaboration with Guangzhou University

Our respiratory team joined forces with the Guangzhou Medical University to conduct a study on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in China, with the aim to find better ways of diagnosing and preventing incidence and to explore whether environmental factors like air pollution interact with known triggers. This joint study involves over 300 patients for two years.

Our team had previously carried out COPD studies in many Western countries and was interested in comparing earlier findings with those from China, where COPD is highly prevalent and a leading cause of death. What does this mean for patients in China? It means we may be able to identify the different types of COPD and predict exacerbations before they occur, thereby transforming the way we treat COPD and the way patients receive therapies so that they are most appropriate for local contexts.

Open Innovation drives discoveries

Since the launch of Open Innovation in 2014, we have engaged in more than 250 new collaborations, and we have received over 500 proposals for new research collaborations from scientists in 23 countries across 4 continents. These actions expand our collaborative efforts in R&D and transparency. Open Innovation has over 250,000 compounds available from our screening library, with 30 completed, ongoing or planned clinical studies and over 250 planned or ongoing preclinical studies.