Published: 25-06-2013 00:00 | Updated: 13-02-2014 13:41

AstraZeneca and Karolinska Institutet sign agreement on integrated center for cardiovascular and metabolic diseases

Karolinska Institutet and AstraZeneca today announces the finalisation of a definitive agreement regarding the establishment of a unique joint centre for research on cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.

The new centre will be named "Karolinska Institutet/AstraZeneca Integrated Cardio Metabolic Centre" (KI/AZ ICMC) and will be located on the KI Campus.

The centre's aim is to identify and validate novel targets within cardio-metabolic diseases and will focus mainly on three strategic research themes: Cardiac Regeneration, Islet Health (Diabetes) and Diabetic Nephropathy across modalities like small molecules and biologics. A recruitment process for the director of the centre has been initiated and up to six Research Groups will be established at KI/AZ ICMC. In total 20-30 scientists from AstraZeneca and Karolinska Institutet will be full time employees at the center.

It is also the first time that scientists from Karolinska Institutet will work side by side with scientists from a pharmaceutical company under the leadership of one director.

Anders Hamsten, president of Karolinska Institutet said: "AstraZeneca, with their strong focus on cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, is an attractive partner for Karolinska Institutet. We believe that this new collaboration model, with Research Groups located under one roof and working fully integrated, will be a factor of success for both industry and academia."

The agreement is AstraZeneca's largest ever with a Swedish academic institution. During the five-year initial contract period, AstraZeneca will contribute up to 20 MUSD annually, in total up to 100 MUSD (for the time being approximately 650 MSEK).

Menelas Pangalos, Executive Vice President, Innovative Medicines & Early Development, AstraZeneca said: "The Karolinska Institutet is one of the world's leading medical research universities and we are proud to be able to extend our long standing partnership with them. This latest agreement represents an exciting opportunity to work with together in a truly innovative way - under a joint leadership team with shared research objectives. It's a great example of our ongoing commitment to create a more open research environment, where world-class scientists in industry and academia are empowered to work together to discover and develop the next generation of medicines."