AstraZeneca, Joslin Diabetes Center ink three-year collaboration

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AstraZeneca subsidiary MedImmune and the Joslin Diabetes Center signed a three-year research collaboration to develop medicines that address diabetes, obesity and related metabolic disorders.

The nonprofit Joslin Diabetes Center is affiliated with Harvard Medical School and is developing ways to prevent and cure diabetes through similar collaborations (Sanofi is among its list of collaborators) and research including the February study that compared the eye drugs Eylea and Lucentis and cancer drug Avastin among diabetic macular edema patients. (The results favored Eylea and Avastin.)

MedImmune said in the Tuesday announcement that the partners are beginning with three projects that will address issues including: protecting and regenerating insulin-producing beta cells, increasing caloric utilization of fat deposits and creating a pharmacological therapy that mimics the impact of bariatric surgery.

AstraZeneca's product portfolio already includes products that treat diabetes, including the injectables Bydureon and Byetta and the oral Farxiga.

MedImmune's commitment includes funding the research. The agreement gives the drug company the option to license and develop “projects emerging from the collaboration.” MedImmune told MM&M in an email that the company is not sharing the extent of its financial support.

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