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Medimmune, Sheffield University to research in cell factory technology

AstraZeneca's global biologics R&D arm MedImmune has entered into a five-year multi-project research collaboration with the University of Sheffield to carry out breakthrough research in cell factory technology process.

With the in cell factory technology, living cells can be controlled and manipulated to make specific proteins with therapeutic benefits.

Under the deal, MedImmune will provide funding and in-kind contributions to support University of Sheffield post-doctoral and doctoral research projects to address key challenges in cell engineering.

New tools will be produced to ensure that manufacturing success is ‘designed in’ from a much earlier stage than occurs with current screening-based strategies, to improve the development and production of biologic medicines.

The deal will focus on harnessing expertise from both MedImmune and the University’s Advanced Biomanufacturing Centre to advance research specifically in mammalian cell factories.

Researchers from both the parties will exchange research materials and move easily between sites and facilities in addition to working closely as an integrated team.

The research projects will be selected by a Joint Steering Committee (JSC) comprised of equal members from both institutions and may choose to seek additional grant funding from other sources to generate further high quality, collaborative work.

The collaboration will help improve predictability for engineered proteins such as bispecific antibodies and other proteins that have the potential to treat a range of diseases.

Apart from MedImmune scientists, experts and infrastructure from the University’s Departments of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, and Biomedical Sciences will also participate in the collaboration.