MedImmune, AstraZeneca's global biologics research and development arm, and Johns Hopkins University today announced they have entered into a five-year, $6.5 million research collaboration.
This is a broad-scale, long-term, industry-academic collaboration for Johns Hopkins. MedImmune and Johns Hopkins will each contribute funding, personnel, and materials to address important scientific questions and exchange knowledge through joint research efforts, training programs, and access to specialized knowledge, facilities, and equipment.
"We believe this significant collaboration with Johns Hopkins University will create a new standard on how academia and industry can work together," said Dr. Bahija Jallal, executive vice president of MedImmune. "Our partnership with this prestigious research university will leverage each organization's strengths, advance research in critical therapeutic areas, and strengthen Maryland's presence as a growing hub in the bioscience industry."
The joint research projects will focus on MedImmune's therapeutic areas of interest, including cardiovascular and metabolic disease; oncology; respiratory, inflammation, and autoimmunity; infectious disease; and neuroscience.
"We look forward to working alongside a company that embodies our own commitment to novel research and to bringing the benefits of drug discovery to patients in need," said JHU President Ronald J. Daniels "Our relationship with MedImmune will provide our scientists and students with new opportunities to play a leading role in advancing science and improving global health outcomes."
This new collaboration model extends to both MedImmune's biologics and AstraZeneca's small molecule portfolios. Some of the key projects include:
- Oncology: Exploring the role of immune system cells in tumor growth and harnessing findings to identify new cancer drug targets.
- Respiratory, Inflammation and Autoimmunity: Researching the damaging mechanisms underlying rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and validating potential therapeutic targets that may play key roles in the development or progression of RA.
- Infectious disease: Assessing monoclonal antibody combinations to aid in clinical candidate selections to more effectively prevent recurrent infections in high-risk patients such as those with diabetes. This collaboration builds on MedImmune's ongoing work to prevent serious and costly drug-resistant infections.
- Antibody Discovery and Protein Engineering: Working with the university to find innovative ways to manufacture complex next-generation biologic drugs.
"We are excited about the opportunity for our scientists to collaborate with MedImmune researchers to accelerate the development of new therapies to treat a variety of serious diseases such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and certain types of cancer," said Landon King, executive vice dean of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. "We believe that by working together to leverage the strengths of each organization, we can make significant advances."
This initiative is one of several regional collaborations by MedImmune to actively work with leading research institutions and the state to advance Maryland as a top bioscience cluster, foster innovative science and ensure accelerated development of key medicines.