by Himabindu Venkatakrishnan on  May 16, 2015 at 1:11 PM Health In Focus
 UniQuest, AstraZeneca Collaborate on Drug Discovery
The pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca comes together with UniQuest to form an "open innovation" and paves the way for the discovery of new therapeutic drugs. Researchers from UniQuest, the research commercialization company of The University of Queensland, will now have access to high-quality compounds from AstraZeneca. The researchers will investigate human mechanisms of disease and explore various novel target therapies and medical innovations. AstraZeneca, in turn, will have the opportunity to deeply engage with UniQuest researchers and their projects.

UniQuest's drive to expand the aim of The University of Queensland with regard to drug discovery and development will be reinforced with this collaboration with AstraZeneca. Dr. Dean Moss, CEO of UniQuest, stated that the initiative has been another step towards the new era of medical discovery via open innovation and public-private collaboration. He added that UniQuest was delighted to be partnering with AstraZeneca in the exciting approach towards the development of new treatments for patients and advancement of medical science in Australia.

Dr. Moss said that the collaboration would help foster medical innovation by bringing together complementary skills and the combined efforts of the academic innovators can accelerate the investigation of therapeutic treatments.

UniQuest, an Australian research commercialization company specializes in global technology transfer. UniQuest facilitates access of world class expertise, intellectual property and facilities at The University of Queensland, Australia, for all business sectors. The University of Queensland is among the top 100 universities worldwide and is a leading research and teaching institution.

Successful proposals to investigate human mechanisms of disease and drug discovery and development can be submitted by the UniQuest researchers. The research would be funded jointly by UniQuest and AstraZeneca.

Dr. Ajay Gautam, AstraZeneca's executive director of Scientific Partnering and Alliances for Asia Pacific, said that this collaborative drug discovery will focus on AstraZeneca's core therapeutic areas including oncology, metabolic, respiratory, cardiovascular, autoimmune, inflammation, infection and neuroscience diseases.

Dr. Gautam also said that giving their compounds and expertise to globally leading academic research institutions such as UniQuest, they would be opening doors to unexplored areas of pre-clinical and clinical research to help find the next generation of medical innovations.

AstraZeneca is one of the biopharmaceutical businesses which is innovation-driven with focus on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicines in various areas of medical innovations. Its open source drug discovery program incorporates opening the drug discovery projects to external contributors resulting in significant increase in its research capacity. Open source drug discovery also offers potential for developing new and inexpensive drugs to combat diseases.

Fragment based drug discovery, another area of research in AstraZeneca, is based on identifying small chemical fragments that bind weakly to the biological target. These chemicals are grown together to combine them to produce a drug that then binds strongly to make the drug more effective.

Both UniQuest and AstraZeneca bring complimentary skills to foster medical innovation. The combination of The University of Queensland's thought-leadership and experiences in investigating medical hypotheses and AstraZeneca's proven track record of drug discovery and development can work wonders in understanding therapeutic treatments based on human mechanisms of disease and target therapies.

Source: Medindia

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