MedImmune, Inserm and Inserm Transfert announce strategic collaboration to fund and conduct medical science research


Joint Steering Committee to Identify Projects for Funding and Exploration in Oncology, Respiratory, Inflammation, Autoimmune Diseases, and Emergent Areas of Opportunity.

MedImmune, the global biologics business of AstraZeneca, and Inserm Transfert, the private subsidiary of the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm), today announced a three-year strategic collaboration to advance research across a range of therapeutic areas including oncology, respiratory, inflammation, and autoimmune diseases.  Research will explore translational biology and new disease mechanisms, as well as evaluate potential drug candidates. 

The collaboration calls for MedImmune funding and joint scientific collaboration commencing with 10 research projects, maximizing Inserm's unique capability to conduct research by blended physician/biologist teams, and their unparalleled link to patient populations and understanding of human diseases. Additional research projects are being evaluated. 

Via decision-making governance by a Joint Steering Committee (JSC), MedImmune will fund projects to be executed with Inserm for both pre-clinical and clinical research, and will execute other activities to help identify promising approaches to advance drug candidates for patients with unmet medical needs. 

"MedImmune is honored and energized to have this unique opportunity to partner with an organization the caliber of Inserm on discovery and development," said Bahija Jallal, Ph.D., MedImmune's executive vice president of research and development.  "This new relationship exemplifies our externalization strategy to invest in the best science, academic expertise, and innovation while enhancing productivity and quality of discovery research outcomes."

Through establishment of this collaboration, MedImmune is distinguished as one of 10 strategic partners amongst Inserm's 500 collaborators. Strongly associated with universities and hospitals, Inserm currently has operations in 316 laboratories, with 54 clinical investigation centers representing a workforce of 13,000, which includes approximately 8,000 direct Inserm employees, 3,000 university hospital personnel and 1,450 foreign research scientists. 

"Knowledge transfer today is about connecting excellence in academia and industry and building partnered teams to promote innovation," said Cécile Tharaud, CEO of Inserm Transfert. "MedImmune is a partner of choice and we are highly committed to building this strategic alliance with the potential to turn 'open innovation' concepts into novel therapeutic products to benefit patients."

Prof. André Syrota, Chairman and CEO of Inserm, added: "We are very honored and pleased to establish such a strategic collaboration with MedImmune. Its cutting-edge R&D focused on biologics is an ideal fit with the expertise and missions of Inserm.  We are confident that we will benefit from the strong support of our translational and clinical research efforts to foster discovery of new targets in therapy areas with high unmet medical needs."

Financial details of the collaboration will not be disclosed.

About MedImmune
MedImmune, the global biologics unit for AstraZeneca PLC (LSE: AZN.L, NYSE: AZN), has approximately 3,500 employees worldwide and is headquartered in Gaithersburg, Maryland. For more information, visit MedImmune's website at

About Inserm Transfert
Founded in 2000, Inserm Transfert SA is the private subsidiary of the French National Institute of the Health and Medical Research (Inserm), dedicated to technology transfer (from invention disclosure to industrial partnership).  Inserm Transfert manages European and International research projects, supports preclinical, clinical and post-marketing studies. Since 2009, Inserm Transfert has run a proof of concept fund.  The company is also committed to seed financing in the biotech sector, through its dedicated fund Inserm Transfert Initiative.

About Inserm
Founded in 1964, the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm) is a public scientific and technological institute which operates under the joint authority of the French Ministry of Health and French Ministry of Research. As the only French public research institute to focus entirely on human health, in 2008 Inserm took on the responsibility for the strategic, scientific and operational coordination of biomedical research. This key role as coordinator comes naturally to Inserm thanks to the scientific quality of its teams and its ability to conduct translational research, from the laboratory to the patient's bed.