LONDON, June 14 British drugmaker AstraZeneca
is deepening its collaboration with academia by roping
in more outside researchers to help to find new cancer drugs.
Scientists at the Cancer Research UK Paterson Institute for
Cancer Research at the University of Manchester will use the
company's compounds as a starting point to hunt for potential
new drugs, the partners said on Friday.
The company is also, for the first time, inviting external
researchers to work on compounds within its own screening
facility at Alderley Park in northwest England.
The move is the latest example of how the pharmaceutical
industry is experimenting with new research models involving
greater tie-ups with external partners.
Last October, British academic researchers won 7 million
pounds ($11 million) of funding from the country's Medical
Research Council to investigate a range of potential new drugs
made available by AstraZeneca under another project.
Many drug companies are looking outside their own walls for
help in developing new medicines and the concept has been
embraced particularly enthusiastically by AstraZeneca, which has
suffered a lean period of in-house discovery.
Last year, for example, the group decided to slash its
internal neuroscience research staff to around 40 from more than
800, creating instead a "virtual" research unit for brain