LDC forms Drug Discovery alliance with AstraZeneca

Kooperation zur Erforschung von Krankheiten mit hohem medizinischem Bedarf

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The Lead Discovery Center GmbH (LDC) and AstraZeneca have joined forces to discover new medicines for the treatment of human diseases with high unmet medical need. Through a two-year collaboration, AstraZeneca will add 250,000 high-quality compounds to LDC’s internal screening collection to pursue projects in the areas of oncology, neuroscience, respiratory and inflammation, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and infection research.


The LDC will identify compounds from the combined collection that show activity against a portfolio of high-potential targets carefully selected by LDC from its broad range of academic partner institutions, including members of the Max Planck Society, Germany’s leading basic research organization. A joint steering committee will oversee the collaboration and review the output. LDC will take the most promising compounds into further drug discovery by optimizing them into pharmaceutical leads with in vivo proof-of-concept. AstraZeneca will have a preferred right to obtain a license for pre-clinical and clinical development and commercialization. Terms will be agreed individually to ensure a fair balance of investments, risks and potential returns between the partners.

Steve Rees, VP of Screening Sciences at AstraZeneca, commented: “The collaboration with LDC is part of an ongoing strategy to establish close relationships with leading academic drug discovery centres to support the generation of quality lead series for important and novel drug targets. We believe that the sharing of industry and academic expertise in precompetitive collaborations will greatly enhance the ability to bring novel drug targets into pharmaceutical discovery.”

Dr Bert Klebl, CEO of the LDC, adds: “We maintain a long-term relationship with AstraZeneca as a member of LDC’s Industrial Advisory Board. Getting access to this collection of high-quality screening compounds will now further increase the chances of success of our early drug discovery projects. This deal takes our partnership to the next level where our combined resources, expertise, and capabilities will accelerate the translation of academic findings into new medicines.”


Über das LDC

The Lead Discovery Center (LDC) was established in 2008 by the technology transfer organization Max Planck Innovation, as a novel approach to capitalize on the potential of excellent basic research for the discovery of new therapies for diseases with high medical need.
With a world-class team of interdisciplinary scientists, drug discovery experts, pharmacologists and seasoned project managers, the LDC takes on promising early-stage projects from academia and transforms them into innovative pharmaceutical leads that reach initial proof-of-concept in animals.
In close collaboration with high-profile partners from academia and industry, the LDC is building a strong and further growing portfolio of small molecule leads with exceptional medical and commercial potential.

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business with a primary focus on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines for gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, neuroscience, respiratory and inflammation, oncology and infectious disease. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients.