Scientists from Shenzhen University Health Science Center’s Nephrology and Urology Center will work in collaboration with teams from AstraZeneca’s Innovation Center China in Shanghai to undertake preclinical research focused on chronic kidney disease (CKD), specifically diabetic nephropathy.

“This collaboration signifies an expansion into an important new disease area for AstraZeneca’s drug discovery efforts here in China,” said Steve Yang, vice president and head of the company’s Asia and Emerging Markets Innovative Medicines Unit. “Last year, we delivered the first AstraZeneca preclinical candidate drug to be discovered by our scientists in China, in the area of oncology. And now, in addition to our ongoing research efforts in oncology, we are also putting our talented scientists to work in chronic kidney disease – another area of unmet medical need. This demonstrates our commitment to R&D in China through both internal capability building and external partnerships.”

This partnership builds on AstraZeneca’s up to $815 million deal with Fibrogen announced in July last year to develop and commercialize FG-4592, a first-in-class oral compound in late stage development for the treatment of with CKD and end-stage renal disease in key markets around the world, including China.

“I look forward to the opportunity of joining our partner in looking at exciting new science that will benefit patients,” commented Xiaolin Zhang, head of AstraZeneca’s Innovation Center China. “We also see this program not just as an opportunity to help us discover new treatments but also a unique possibility for joint talent development.”

According to Zhang, the partners are also evaluating the establishment of a joint post doctorate program with the goal of enhancing scientific leadership and strengthening interactions between the industry and academia.

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