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Medimmune Expands USM Research Collaboration

April 29, 2014

Mike Lurie, University System of Maryland, 301-445-2719

University System of MarylandCOLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University System of Maryland and MedImmune, the global biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca, announced today that the initial research collaboration between MedImmune and the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) has been expanded to include the University of Maryland, College Park and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

The collaborators have also announced that they have identified the first five research projects to be undertaken under the expanded agreement. This follows the September 2013 announcement in which MedImmune and UMB announced a five-year, $6 million collaboration to drive novel bioscience research in the state of Maryland.

The first research projects include:

  • Oncology: evaluate a molecule that simultaneously inhibits suppression of anti-tumor immunity and boosts activation of tumor-reactive T cells.
  • Respiratory, Inflammation and Autoimmunity: evaluate the role of specific phagocytes in inflammatory diseases.
  • Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disease: explore the mechanism and role of stem cells in cardiac regeneration.
  • Infectious Diseases: explore the immune system-stimulating properties of key innate immune system proteins for use in novel vaccines.
  • Infectious Diseases: study a novel nanoparticle vaccine delivery system with unique stability and immune-stimulating potential.    

"We are excited to expand this collaboration to include the resources of the University System of Maryland's three major research universities and to begin work on important projects in several of our core therapeutic areas," said Dr. Bahija Jallal, executive vice president, MedImmune. "This groundbreaking effort will help support our mission of bringing novel new medicines to patients by capitalizing on the innovative science and talent available right here, in Maryland's bioscience hub."

As previously announced, the collaboration involves participation from MedImmune, the University System of Maryland and the BioMaryland Center, a part of the Department of Business & Economic Development (DBED), representing a unique model to foster and support innovation in Maryland.

Dr. Jay Perman, President of UMB, said, "On behalf of the research universities in the University System of Maryland, I'm pleased to celebrate these five research programs spread across our three campuses. These programs will focus on important areas of unmet or underserved medical needs, namely cardiac disease, inflammatory disease, cancer and vaccine development." 

William E. Kirwan, Chancellor of the University System of Maryland, said, "The University System of Maryland is an economic engine for the State and with this important partnership with Maryland's largest biotech company, we will further expand our translational research endeavors."

MedImmune's research collaboration with the University System of Maryland is one of several regional collaborations with leading research institutions and the state to advance Maryland as a top biotechnology cluster, advance innovative science and accelerate development of key medicines for patients.