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Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca has agreed a deal to share its experimental drug formulas with academic researchers in a move that could benefit both parties.
The Anglo-Swedish company will add up to 100,000 early-stage compounds from its proprietary catalogue, with 50,000 controlled by the commercial arm of the UK’s Medical Research Council (MRC).
The tie-up will see the Government-backed science funding council and Astra have access to a wider range of potential drugs, which could be more quickly developed to target disease.
Astra will have the first chance to agree options and pursue commercial development of any successful matches. But, if it declines to enter a partnership for a particular drug and chooses not to go further, the MRC could support continued work itself or find other partners.
The deal will also allow Astra to glean a better understanding of science conducted by its academic partners before other commercial rivals.
Copyright Press Association 2010