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AZ in obesity research drive

AstraZeneca has teamed up with the Columbia University Medical Centre in New York to tackle the growing level of obesity and Type II diabetes
AstraZeneca (AZ) has teamed up with the Columbia University Medical Centre in New York to form a strategic research collaboration to tackle the growing level of obesity and Type II diabetes globally.

The joint venture is aimed at discovering new treatments to combat the rise in these medical conditions, with a secondary focus on atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), and dyslipidaemia (abnormal blood lipid levels).

According to AZ, obesity and Type II diabetes are the fastest growing health problems facing the global community, with more than one billion adults and 150 million children worldwide being overweight, 200 to 500 million of whom are clinically obese.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says that obesity is a major contributor to the global burden of chronic disease and disability.

Dr Rudolph Leibel, head of molecular genetics and co-director of the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Centre at the Columbia University Medical Centre, said: "Our mutual focus on novel and translational science is an excellent fit between the two organisations, and active, ongoing scientific exchange will be the basis for this collaboration."

Jan Lundberg, executive vice-president of discovery research at AZ, said that the company is committed to pursuing novel treatments and solutions to help in the fight to curb the rising level of obesity and Type II diabetes among the global population.

"AZ is determined to be a significant contributor to the resolution of the health problems that stem form the pandemic of diabetes and obesity," said Lundberg.

19th June 2008

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