MedImmune and Joslin Diabetes Center announce new research collaboration focused on advancing metabolic disease research

Gaithersburg, MD and Boston, MA – March 10, 2015 - MedImmune, the global biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca, and Joslin Diabetes Center, the world's largest diabetes research and clinical care organization, today announced a three-year research collaboration to develop new medicines for the treatment of diabetes, obesity, and related metabolic disorders.

MedImmune and Joslin researchers will work collaboratively on research projects to identify new drug candidates. Three initial projects have been identified, focusing on several key areas including protecting and regenerating the insulin producing beta cells, increasing the caloric utilization of fat depots (“beiging” white fat or expanding brown fat), and replicating the beneficial effects of bariatric surgery pharmacologically. The collaboration is structured with the potential for more projects to be added as new compelling science is identified.

 “Cardiovascular and metabolic disease (CVMD) is a main therapy area for MedImmune, and we are pleased to enter this new research partnership with Joslin Diabetes Center to identify and translate the most promising emerging science into novel drug development projects with the potential to help patients suffering with diabetes, obesity and other metabolic diseases,” said Cristina Rondinone, Vice President and Head, MedImmune’s Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disease (CVMD) Innovative Medicines Unit.  “Joslin Diabetes Center is world-renowned for metabolic disease research, and will be an important partner for MedImmune and AstraZeneca as we continue our commitment to improve diabetes management and care through the development of innovative medicines.”

Under the terms of the agreement, MedImmune will provide research funding to Joslin and bring drug development expertise and capabilities to complement Joslin’s early metabolic disease research competencies and clinical care infrastructure.  MedImmune has the option to license development and commercial rights to projects emerging from the collaboration.

C. Ronald Kahn, M.D., Mary K. Iacocca Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Chief Academic Officer of Joslin Diabetes Center, who will head Joslin’s alliance team, added: "This partnership combines the discovery research and clinical care expertise at Joslin with MedImmune’s great development capabilities to hopefully move these projects from important new concepts to treatments that could benefit the patients we treat in our clinic and the millions of others like them across the globe suffering from metabolic diseases."

Watch Cristina Rondinone discuss the collaboration here.

About Joslin Diabetes Center
Joslin Diabetes Center, based in Boston, Massachusetts, undertakes diabetes research, clinical care, education and health and wellness programs on a global scale. Joslin is dedicated to ensuring that people with diabetes live long, healthy lives and offers real progress in preventing and curing diabetes. Joslin is an independent, nonprofit institution affiliated with Harvard Medical School, and is recognized worldwide for driving innovative solutions in diabetes prevention, research, education, and care.  Our mission is to prevent, treat and cure diabetes.  Our vision is a world free of diabetes and its complications. For more information, visit

About MedImmune
MedImmune is the global biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca, a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of small molecule and biologic prescription medicines. MedImmune is pioneering innovative research and exploring novel pathways across key therapeutic areas, including respiratory, inflammation and autoimmunity; cardiovascular and metabolic disease; oncology; neuroscience; and infection and vaccines. The MedImmune headquarters is located in Gaithersburg, Md., one of AstraZeneca’s three global R&D centers. For more information, please visit

About AstraZeneca
AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of cardiovascular, metabolic, respiratory, inflammation, autoimmune, oncology, infection and neuroscience diseases. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. For more information please visit:

Susannah Budington, MedImmune
(301) 398-6717 

Alisha Martin, MedImmune
(443) 566-2965 

Jeff Bright, Joslin Diabetes Center
(617) 309-1957