AstraZeneca marks a key milestone in its successful move to Cambridge, UK, with the ‘topping out’ of its new, state-of-the-art, strategic R&D centre and global corporate headquarters at the heart of the Cambridge Biomedical Campus (CBC). The Company, including its biologics research and development arm, MedImmune, already has 2,000 employees actively engaged in the city’s vibrant scientific, academic, clinical and business community. Occupation of the site will begin in stages in 2018.
The building has been co-designed by the company’s scientists and world-leading architects Herzog & de Meuron with the open architecture reflecting AstraZeneca’s collaborative approach to research. Open laboratories and transparent glass walls will enable new ways of working across disciplines and with external partners, whilst a central courtyard, open to the public, will put science on full display.
The new strategic R&D site will become AstraZeneca’s largest centre globally for oncology research, as well as housing scientists focused on respiratory, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. The proximity and high concentration of leading scientific organisations at the CBC, across Cambridge and the region create the ideal conditions for sharing knowledge, skills and expertise – and ultimately for pushing the boundaries of science. For example:
- The new R&D site will house a joint research centre with the Medical Research Council, where partnering scientists will work side-by-side with AstraZeneca’s high throughput screening group.
- AstraZeneca’s drug discovery scientists are working with Microsoft to use a cloud-based simulation that brings alive the millions of potential changes that make cancer cells multiply uncontrollably, to better understand the disease.
- Similarly, scientists from MedImmune and Cancer Research UK are working together to discover and develop novel biologics to treat cancer. Currently they are collaborating on an exciting project looking at the best drug combinations to treat pancreatic cancer.
- A novel agreement is also in place that will give researchers from the University of Cambridge access to key compounds from the AstraZeneca drugs pipeline.
Pascal Soriot, CEO of AstraZeneca: “Our new global HQ and strategic R&D site designed by world-leading architects Herzog & de Meuron embodies AstraZeneca’s innovation-led transformation and I am delighted to mark today’s milestone, which signals our progress in advancing a world-class environment where science can thrive. As a long-standing investor in UK science, we believe Cambridge offers a tremendously vibrant academic and life-sciences ecosystem that can truly catalyse discovery and innovation. Together with our partners, we will push the boundaries of science to deliver innovative medicines that transform patient care around the world.”