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GEN News Highlights : May 3, 2010

AstraZeneca Partners with TB Alliance to Speed Tuberculosis Drug Discovery

Companies will contribute promising projects into a joint portfolio that they will co-develop.

The Global Alliance for TB Drug Development (TB Alliance) and AstraZeneca will collaborate on the discovery and development of drugs against tuberculosis (TB) including drug-resistant strains of the disease. Under the agreement, the companies will both contribute promising TB drug-discovery projects into a joint portfolio that will be co-developed by the parties.

The initial set of projects contributed by the TB Alliance results from its ongoing collaboration with several researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, Rutgers University, and New York Medical College. AstraZeneca's projects come from its TB research center in Bangalore, India. The joint portfolio will be staffed by a core group of scientists based at AstraZeneca's TB research center in Bangalore with expertise and funding provided by both organizations.

Promising compounds identified in this collaboration will also be tested in combination with other therapies as part of the Critical Path to TB Drug Regimens, a cross-sector initiative intended to speed TB drug regimens to patients who need them.

"AstraZeneca is building a leading franchise in the treatment of infectious diseases, both through our own in-house research as well as through collaborations,” says Les Hughes, AstraZeneca's vp of infection discovery. “This collaboration is part of the global partnership that will be needed to conquer the TB epidemic.