The University of Glasgow and AstraZeneca have established the GLAZgo Discovery Centre, a collaborative venture focused on bridging the university-industry gap while exploring immunological disease processes.
“Flexible academia/industry collaborations where focus and projects can be quickly adapted based on project need and the latest breaking science are rare. With GLAZgo we’ve managed to set up a structure which embraces the complexity”
Maarten Kraan, Astra Zeneca
The idea for the collaboration to create the GLAZgo Discovery Centre formally came about in the spring of 2013. Early conversations between AstraZeneca and researchers at the University of Glasgow led to the realisation that there was a meeting of minds on not only the scientific direction but also the operational aspects. Both were eager and willing to work on a new, more agile and highly integrated collaborative model, which could transform the way that academia and industry work together.
The Centre brings together AstraZeneca, one of the leading global biopharmaceutical businesses, which has expertise in drug discovery and development, and the Institute of Infection, Inflammation and Immunology at the University of Glasgow, which has an international reputation for linking basic science to our understanding of disease pathology.
The GLAZgo Discovery Centre is now fully operational and delivering greater understanding of the role of specific immunological pathways. It currently has a core team of eight full-time research staff and also supports four PhD students. Furthermore, a two-way secondment programme between the partners, to facilitate the exchange of expert knowledge and skills, has been set in motion. The partnership has created a dynamic and flexible environment which brings together established drug-development capability with high-quality basic, translational and clinical research. This open sharing of expertise is set to nurture the next generation of research leaders at the interface between academic medicine and drug discovery and development.
The commitment of both the University of Glasgow and AstraZeneca to the Centre has been demonstrated by the successful initiation of several other new research programs. The Centre highlights what can be achieved when two parties share a common philosophy on how academic medicine and a pharmaceutical company should combine forces to drive forward the creation of future medicines.
Professor Iain McInnes, Director Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation at the University of Glasgow:
“GLAZgo Discovery integrates world-class pharmaceutical science with the academic excellence contained in the University of Glasgow in an exciting venture that will bring extraordinary opportunities for new discoveries and thus, in time, new medicines.”
Maarten Kraan, Head of Respiratory, Inflammation & Autoimmune diseases Innovative Medicines unit at Astra Zeneca:
“Flexible academia/industry collaborations where focus and projects can be quickly adapted based on project need and the latest breaking science are rare. With GLAZgo we’ve managed to set up a structure which embraces the complexity of drug discovery and that fully integrates the robust industry approach with the more open questioning of academic medicine.”