AstraZeneca Partners Korean Government In Cancer Program

Under the proposed program, Korean scientists will gain grants and priority access to AstraZeneca compounds for testing.

AsianScientist (Mar. 7, 2014) – AstraZeneca has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI) to establish an Oncology Research Program.

Under the program, AstraZeneca will provide support for 12 early-stage translational research projects by Korean investigators’ in the field of oncology – an area of high unmet medical need in Korea. Cancer is a serious disease that is growing rapidly and is the number one cause of death in Korea. The total number of cancer sufferers in Korea almost doubled, to over 218,000 patients, between 2001 and 2011. Through this program, AstraZeneca and KHIDI aim to contribute to the development of new treatments for Korean cancer patients.

AstraZeneca’s innovative medicine team will review and select four pre-proposals by May 2014. The shortlisted investigators will each receive research funding via their respective institutes and gain priority access to a specified list of AstraZeneca compounds for pre-clinical testing, as part of their open innovation platform. The successful researchers will also benefit from technological advice, collaboration and networking with AstraZeneca oncology scientists globally.

Keetaig Jung, head of KHIDI, said, “This program is expected to make a great contribution to enhancing the new drug development capability of Korean investigators, and we hope that this effort of sharing know-how between Korean researchers and AstraZeneca will bear fruit in the form of new drugs that will benefit patients in the future.”

“We already have open innovation collaborations in the US, UK and Taiwan and are excited to now bring this way of working to Korea. We have strong belief in the translational as well as clinical research capability of Korean oncology scientists and are eager to see what they will be able to contribute to this program,” said Dr. Steve Yang, Head of AstraZeneca’s Asia and Emerging Markets Innovative Medicines group.

AstraZeneca was the first multinational pharmaceutical company to sign an MOU with the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) in 2006 for R&D and clinical exchanges. The company has also conducted several activities such as the Virtual Research Institute project in cooperation with KHIDI to support basic research among Korean scientists. In 2011, the company signed a second MOU with MOHW – Partnering with Korea – to continue its long-term partnership with the Korean healthcare community.


Source: AstraZeneca.

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