AstraZeneca and Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma (MTPC) entered a three-year research collaboration in the area of diabetic nephropathy to validate research targets and molecules.

Spanning from target selection up to the delivery of small molecule candidate drugs, the collaboration will include targets from each company’s early research portfolios that have been identified as approaches of common interest. Additional targets may be included under the collaboration at a later stage. The research will be performed in parallel at AstraZeneca’s Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disease Innovative Medicines Unit (CVMD iMed) in Mölndal, Sweden, and at MTPC’s facilities in Japan. The companies said they believe the alliance will yield high-quality candidate drugs much faster than working alone. There is no financial commitment and each organization will contribute equal resources.

“The collaboration will allow us to focus on early stage programs and generate decision-making data faster than working alone, ultimately providing a quicker expansion of our diabetic nephropathy portfolio for the treatment of chronic kidney disease,” said Marcus Schindler, head of CVMD innovative medicines unit at AstraZeneca.

Diabetes is a core therapeutic area for AstraZeneca. In July, the company partnered with the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology (MPI) to study new modalities chemistry by establishing a satellite unit in CVMD with a research focus in diabetic nephropathy as well as cardiac regeneration and islet health.

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