AstraZeneca’s partnership with the Broad Institute at Harvard and MIT is an example of how universities and business can work together to increase the scale of research.

In this case, AstraZeneca has partnered with Broad in the area of drug resistant bacteria. The collaboration has enabled a larger volume of research than either partner could achieve alone.

Dr Michael Foley, director of the Broad Institute’s Chemical Biology Platform outlined that “what really makes this project possible is that at the Broad institute is that we can work on a scale that is compatible with industry. Even big companies couldn’t do some of things that we’ve been able to do here at the Broad including creating such a large, new type of compound collection that is perfectly suited for this type of collaboration.”

This allows for the exploration of further ideas and possibilities, as “rather than not progress an opportunity that could a benefit to patients simply because we run out of the boundaries of resource, we say no let’s see if we can progress an opportunity in partnership with someone else where we create a win-win in terms of the investment and rewards” explained AstraZeneca’s Prof Andrew Hughes.

The partnership allows AstraZeneca to expand research in an area of interest, while giving academics a platform to explore new areas. Dr Clive Morris at AstraZeneca expanded on this, saying “part of the excitement of this sort of collaboration is we really don’t know what’s going to come out of it. We’re not going in with ideas of the studies we want, we’re really asking the academic groups to come up with what are the best ideas out there and would love to be surprised and see those great new ideas coming in.”

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