Pioneering research collaboration to provide Singapore clinical researchers access to AstraZeneca compounds

Singapore 26 August 2015 – The National Health Innovation Centre (NHIC) of Singapore and AstraZeneca have established a first-of-its-kind collaboration between Singapore researchers and a pharmaceutical company that will provide Singapore’s scientists and clinical researchers access to 50 of AstraZeneca’s drug compounds for use in new studies to improve the understanding of a range of diseases, with a view to developing more effective treatments. The partnership will support NHIC’s drive to stimulate healthcare innovation and translational clinical research in Singapore.

Clinical researchers will be able to submit research proposals to the NHIC, which will judge the scientific quality and commercial potential of the applications and award funding through the ‘Innovation to Develop (I2D)’ and ‘Innovation to Implement (I2I)’ programmes of NHIC. Financial details of the collaboration were not disclosed.

The collaboration is based on AstraZeneca’s Open Innovation platform, which allows research centres around the world to explore new therapeutic uses for specific AstraZeneca compounds. The compounds have been optimized for potency, selectivity and safety as well as advanced through several stages of development such that they represent excellent tools to explore novel diseases and pathways that would otherwise not be studied. Key areas of interest include cardiovascular, metabolic, respiratory, inflammation, autoimmune, oncology and neuroscience diseases.

Intellectual property rights arising from projects using the compounds will be equitable and similar to those currently used in academically-led research. AstraZeneca will retain rights over the chemical composition of the compounds, which have taken millions of dollars to develop so far, and new research findings will be owned by the NHIC-funded institution.

Professor Ranga Krishnan, Chairman of the NHIC said: “This is an exciting collaboration for Singapore’s clinical research sector and a reflection of its increasing impact on the international medical research landscape. We hope this innovative approach with AstraZeneca will advance disease understanding and result in new therapies to improve patient health.”

“We are delighted to work with the NHIC and leading scientists in Singapore in pushing the boundaries of science to develop potential new medicines for patients. This collaboration is a further extension of our commitment to foster and access biomedical innovation across Asia Pacific and our willingness to open up our extensive compound library to talented scientists across the globe in the search for innovative solutions” said Dr. Ajay Gautam, Executive Director & Head of Collaborations for Asia Pacific and Emerging Markets for AstraZeneca.


About National Health Innovation Centre (NHIC)

The National Health Innovation Centre provides the publicly-funded clinical research sector of Singapore with translational funding and strategic guidance to accelerate healthcare innovation. Established in 2014, NHIC’s funding streams are for the development of innovative technologies which address an unmet healthcare need and have demonstrated ‘proof-of-principle’ supported by experimental data. Collaborations with industry are encouraged if they strengthen proposals. For further information, please visit:

About AstraZeneca Open Innovation

The AstraZeneca Open Innovation platform has been created to help identify and establish mutually beneficial collaborations that will lead to the discovery and development of new medicines. It provides a robust but simple process for AstraZeneca to link their expertise, experience, resources, and technology with those of external experts and to explore prospective partnerships that accelerate the advancement of medical science and breakthrough therapies for patients. Visit AstraZeneca’s Open Innovation website to learn more:

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation 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:

Media Contacts

Sharron Bennett, Ph.D.
Head, National Health Innovation Centre (NHIC) Tel: +65 6407 4291; e-mail: