01 Jul 2013, BioSpectrum Bureau , BioSpectrum
Singapore: AstraZeneca (AZ) and Karolinska Institutet (KI) are going to establish a unique integrated cardiovascular and metabolic research center called CVMD iMed, with Astra Zeneca contributing up to $100 million over an initial five years. For the first time AZ and KI scientists will work together under one director.
Less than a year after the government announced a $320 million support package, Stockholm-Uppsala Life Science believes that there are clear indicators that the sector is in robust health despite the recent closing of AstraZeneca's neuroscience facility.
SciLifeLab is well on target with its recruitment plans, with over 1500 scientist now engaged across the two sites. A record number of publications are being submitted as the results of the project become evident. Protein-science based companies in particular, such as Olink, BioLamina and Atlas Antibodies continue to demonstrate impressive growth, whilst there has been an increase in the number of start-ups, many by former Astra Zeneca employees following the major restructuring in early 2012
Dr Marcus Schindler, VP, head of CVMD iMed, AstraZeneca, said that, "One of the biggest challenges of biomedicine is to translate academic research into drug projects that deliver true benefits for patients and society. We have worked side by side with academic institutions in the past, but this is the first time that AstraZeneca will fully integrate our research teams with an academic institution. We believe that this will speed up the progression from ground-breaking research into the delivery of new medicines and advance our scientific leadership in cardiovascular and metabolic research."
Dr Ola Bjorkman, CEO, Stockholm-Uppsala Life Science, said that, "Both the new AZ/KI collaboration and SciLifeLab are addressing the key issue of translational medicine by contributing a cutting edge research infrastructure. The research is being efficiently translated into products and services, through companies such as Olink, Atlas Antibodies and BioLamina, with a new generation of start-ups, many by former AZ employees, emerging. Finally, there is a growing belief among the key actors here thatthese parallel investments in drug discovery, clinical research and the use of patient registers opens new avenues for developing more personalized and outcome orientated healthcare systems."