MedImmune joins Nih Centers for accelerated innovations program as first pharma partner

Program Aims to Identify and Translate Innovations from the Lab to Patients

Gaithersburg, MD, February 19, 2015 -- MedImmune, the global biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca, announced today that it has joined the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Centers for Accelerated Innovations (NCAI) program as the first biotech/pharmaceutical company corporate partner.

The NCAI program was launched in September 2013 to improve how basic science advances and discoveries are translated into commercially viable treatments for patients. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) will provide $32.5 million in grants to establish three translational research Centers of Innovation in Boston, Cleveland and California, consisting of 14 top-tier research institutions. The program seeks to accelerate the commercialization of university-based technologies, and public private partnerships are critical to the success of the NCAI program.

As a partner, MedImmune will play an integral role by partnering with the NCAI awardees and helping to shape strategic direction of the program.  In addition, MedImmune may review prospective NCAI technologies in collaboration with the awardees and provide industry-style considerations regarding their commercial potential and early stage development.

“We are pleased to partner with NIH and NHLBI, our neighbors in the Maryland biotech cluster, on this exciting and innovative program,” said Reg Seeto, M.D., Vice President and Head of Partnering and Strategy, MedImmune.  “We look forward to working more closely with NHLBI and the premier individual research institutions associated with the NCAI program in helping to identify, nurture and advance promising early science. MedImmune hopes to contribute to accelerating commercialization-readiness of research at the participating institutions toward the development of treatments that can help patients in the future.”

The NCAI will specifically address the gap in the commercialization pipeline between scientific discovery and company formation, supporting the long-term goal of more rapidly and effectively moving breakthrough innovations to available products that will have health, economic, and societal impact. Technologies of interest include those focused on improving the diagnosis, treatment, management and prevention of heart, lung, blood and sleep disorders and diseases.

The three inaugural, multi-institution NCAIs are:

  • Boston Biomedical Innovation Center: Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, and President and Fellows of Harvard College
  • NIH Center for Accelerated Innovation at Cleveland Clinic: The Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine; Case Western Reserve University; Cincinnati Children’s Hospital; The Ohio State University; and University of Cincinnati
  • UC BRAID Center for Accelerated Innovation: University of California, Los Angeles; University of California, Davis; University of California, Irvine; University of California, San Diego; and University of California, San Francisco

“Partners in the private sector offer significant expertise in technology and drug development,” said Dr. Gary H. Gibbons, director of NHLBI. “We recognize that public-private partnerships are key to the success and sustainability of the NCAI program's intent to provide a bridge between the basic science laboratory in academia and the patient care marketplace. This collaborative initiative will help ensure the dissemination of adoptable best practices for technology development necessary to turn discoveries into innovative clinical tests and new therapies that will enhance the lives of patients.”



About MedImmune
MedImmune is the worldwide 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 The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Part of the National Institutes of Health, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) plans, conducts, and supports research related to the causes, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of heart, blood vessel, lung, and blood diseases; and sleep disorders. The Institute also administers national health education campaigns on women and heart disease, healthy weight for children, and other topics. NHLBI press releases and other materials are available online at

Susannah Budington, MedImmune
(301) 398-6717 

Tracy Rossin, MedImmune
(301) 398-1468