Tianjin & AstraZeneca Collaborate On Cardiovascular Disease

Tianjin Medical University and Astrazeneca will collaborate to develop soluble epoxide hydrolase inhibitors for the treatment of cardiac fibrosis.

AsianScientist (May 19, 2014) – Tianjin Medical University (TMU) and AstraZeneca, a global pharmaceutical company, have signed a research collaboration focused on cardiovascular diseases (CVDs).

The research agreement focuses on exploring novel targets against cardiac fibrosis. Patients with cardiac fibrosis experience significantly reduced cardiac function which can lead to heart failure – a major health issue and leading cause of death in China and worldwide.

Dr. Yi Zhu, principal investigator for the research collaboration and professor at the department of Physiology and Pathophysiology at TMU, said, “There is currently no therapy for fibrotic diseases in general, mainly because the underlying basis of fibrosis is unclear.”

“Understanding the mechanisms of the disease may ultimately help in the development of novel medicines in order to benefit CVD patients.”

Under the terms of the agreement, TMU scientists will work in collaboration with teams from AstraZeneca’s Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases Innovative Medicines group to explore the role of soluble epoxide hydrolase inhibitors (sEHI) as a potential new therapeutic intervention in addressing cardiac fibrosis. The partners will also investigate the potential causes of cardiac fibrosis. Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.

China has over 100 million people with heart disease and has overtaken the US in the prevalence of diabetes, with nearly 114 million adult sufferers. CVDs are also a major complication of diabetes – about 65 percent of people with diabetes die from heart disease and stroke.

“Tianjin Medical University is great example of the increasing levels of innovation we see coming out of China and other emerging markets,” commented Dr. Ajay Gautam, AstraZeneca’s executive director, Asia and emerging markets external collaborations.

“AstraZeneca is increasingly focusing on early stage academic collaborations with institutions such as TMU, because we believe that working with partners across the globe who have fresh, innovative ideas and approaches will help us accelerate the discovery of new medical breakthroughs.”


Source: AstraZeneca.

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