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AZ to work with UK university on drug delivery technologies

Company's staff will also teach parts of courses at The University of Manchester

The University of Manchester
The University of Manchester (Giuseppe Moscato)

AstraZeneca has signed a five-year alliance with The University of Manchester to boost its research into drug delivery systems.

The collaboration will see a new manufacturing laboratory, the North West Centre for Advanced Drug Delivery, established and jointly led by the university's Professor Nicola Tirelli and AZ's Dr Marcel de Matas.  

The Centre, which will be housed in the Manchester Pharmacy School, will be tasked with enhancing fundamental understanding of drug delivery systems, including relevant aspects of biology and physiology, in cancer and other therapeutic areas important to AstraZeneca.  

In the longer term AstraZeneca said its ambition for the collaboration is to deliver a portfolio of advanced drug delivery technologies for use with its drugs.  

Dr Paul Stott, vice president, product development at AstraZeneca, said: “AstraZeneca is committed to working across the UK science base and we are excited to continue collaborating with the University of Manchester to establish this new Centre for exploring drug delivery programmes.  

“The close proximity between our two facilities and the great pool of talent in both organisations provides considerable potential for the creation of groundbreaking innovations in advanced drug delivery, which we hope will make a meaningful difference to the health of patients suffering from serious diseases.”  

Astrazeneca will also give University of Manchester researchers the opportunity to apply their science in the company's drug development programmes being run from its Macclesfield Campus in Cheshire.  

In addition, scientists from AstraZeneca Pharmaceutical Development plan to “engage more closely with the delivery of undergraduate and postgraduate courses” at the Manchester Pharmacy School.  

This will involve AstraZeneca staff teaching some elements of academic courses, with students and academic staff also visiting the company's facilities.  

Dr Victoria Silkstone, placements lead from the Manchester Pharmacy School said: “This collaboration will provide students with a first-hand view of what it means to work in the pharmaceutical industry and will provide potential opportunities for our talent to be considered for any suitable roles that might be available at AstraZeneca at a time when competition for pharmacy jobs is increasing.”

The agreement adds to AZ's existing partnership with The University of Manchester, where its Quantitative Clinical Pharmacology organisation and the Manchester Pharmacy School have formed a joint Modelling and Simulation Centre.

Article by
Dominic Tyer

30th October 2014

From: Research

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