MedImmune and the University of Cambridge today said they have launched a new five-year, multiproject collaboration with the school’s Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology (CEB) focused on research in biopharmaceutical development including cell engineering. The value of the collaboration was not disclosed.

The global biologics arm of AstraZeneca and the university said their collaboration will be the first under a new Framework Agreement designed to foster further collaborations, as well as lower barriers to innovation, and support rapid implementation of long-term research projects.

The partners said they will identify and develop multiple strategic research projects, drawing on resources and expertise from both organizations. Scientists and academics from MedImmune and CEB will join to advance bioprocessing research, they said, moving between sites that will include CEB’s new teaching and research complex at the university’s science campus in West Cambridge, set to be completed later this year.

The partners will also seek additional grant funding, and said they expect to benefit through the expanded collaboration by creating educational opportunities toward cultivating and supporting biopharmaceutical development scientists.

“This partnership will have a significant impact on MedImmune’s capacity to advance research in critical treatment areas, acting as a beacon of BPD research excellence with the critical mass to attract further research and to provide educational opportunities for the next generation of scientists,” Gail Wasserman, Ph.D., MedImmune svp, biopharmaceutical development, said in a statement.

MedImmune said the new agreement also underscores the company’s emphasis on growing its biotech hubs near R&D facilities in Gaithersburg, MD and Cambridge, U.K.

The company and the university also said their new agreement will complement existing strategic partnerships by MedImmune, its parent AstraZeneca, and CEB.

In October, for example, MedImmune, AstraZeneca and the university announced the launch of four such partnerships: A three-year collaboration focused on advancing research and development in neurodegenerative diseases; a Ph.D. training program; an entrepreneur-in-residence program for the university’s researchers; and access for university researchers to AstraZeneca pipeline compounds that include the EGFR inhibitor AZD9291 for non-small cell lung cancer; the PARP inhibitor olaparib; the mTOR inhibitor AZD2014, and the AKT inhibitor AZD5363.

In March 2014, the university disclosed a three-year oncology research collaboration with MedImmune, under which it agreed to contribute both funding and a postdoctoral scientist to work within the lab of Professor Kevin Brindle, Ph.D., in tumor-targeted therapies.

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