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Open innovation partnerships at Astra Zeneca & CBCS

The Chemical Biology Consortium Sweden, CBCS, has a collaboration with Astra Zeneca’s  Open innovation platform.

The research community has today through CBCS access to Astra Zeneca’s phenotypic screening collection with about 14 000 compounds with extensive activity annotation covering more than 1700 targets. Astra Zeneca now visits SciLifeLab centres in Solna and Uppsala to present this opportunity as well as describing their Open Innovation platform. Most welcome to listen to the open presentation.  There will also be an opportunity to meet and discuss your project individually!

David Smith and Andy Davis’ presentation “Open innovation partnerships at Astra Zeneca: Breaking down barriers to create value through collaboration” will describe Astra Zeneca’s Open Innovation platform. Through case study examples they will describe how Open Innovation works at AstraZeneca, and the breadth of the opportunities available to work together. They will also be happy to answer questions you may have.

AstraZeneca Open Innovation makes available more than 20 clinical ready compounds for novel clinical and translational science. This has so far resulted in over 30 ongoing or completed clinical studies in diseases with significant unmet medical need. In addition, over 40 preclinical tool compounds with optimised pharmacological and pharmacokinetic properties are available, for preclinical research that could advance scientific knowledge through exploring novel disease biology. They will describe how over 75 groups across the world have already partnered in target innovation with AstraZeneca to find novel chemical equity for new biology though their high quality screening collections. The HTS small molecule screening collection contains over 250,000 compounds and provides an excellent basis for diversity-based hit finding, with follow-up neighbour searches reaching back into their 2.2 million compound library. A fragment library is also available, and even a highly annotated phenotypic screening collection for new target identification.  Through case study examples they will describe how Open Innovation with AstraZeneca works, and the breadth of the opportunities available to work together.  They will also be happy to answer questions you may have.   Further information can also be found at  the Open Innovation website.

Following the presentation and open discussion we are happy to meet with individual research groups. Please register below and indicate if you are interested in discussing your project.

Uppsala, March 7

Navet, SciLifeLab
BMC, Husargatan 3, Uppsala

13:00 – 17:00

Stockholm, March 8

Air&Fire, SciLifeLab
Tomtebodavägen 23, Solna

9:00 – 12:00


Andy Davis

Andy Davis gained his BSc in chemistry from Imperial College of Science and Technology, University of London. He undertook his PhD research at the University of Huddersfield, studying the alcoholysis of penicillins as a model of their antibacterial action. This was followed by a post-doctoral fellowship at University of Kent, dissecting the energetics of ribonuclease A catalysed hydrolysis of phosphodiesters through quantitative structure-reactivity relationships. In 1988, he joined Fisons Pharmaceuticals as a physical organic chemist. He has spent the next 29 years with Fisons/Astra/AstraZeneca supporting and subsequently leading respiratory drug discovery projects. During his career has published over 70 papers including many highly cited articles, covering his key interests of leadlike and druglike properties, structure-guided drug design, and the application of machine learning methods to drug discovery. For the past 16 years he has been scientific organiser of the internationally regarded Royal Society of Chemistry Medicinal Chemistry Summer School, and was co-editor of the Royal Society of Chemistry’s  “Handbook of Medicinal Chemistry: Principles and Practice” (2014) and its associated IPAD APP “The Medicinal Chemistry Toolkit”.

Dave Smith

Dave Smith trained as a biochemist at Bristol University and then undertook PhD research in mechanisms of cardiac hypertrophy at the National Heart & Lung Institute. From 1986-2001, he pursued a career in academic research on insulin signalling, obesity and diabetes at Southampton University and then as a senior lecturer at Imperial College London (Hammersmith Campus). In 2001 he moved to AstraZeneca at Alderley Edge, Cheshire to join the diabetes research group later moving to Gothenburg, Sweden with the group.  He returned to the UK (Cambridge) in 2015 and is currently part of AstraZeneca’s Open Innovation team working on bringing new external target screening proposals forward to deliver new chemical leads and improve target validation.  He is very active in research with over 130 peer-reviewed publications, mainly in the metabolism area.  He is also a fellow of the Royal Society of Biology and an honorary senior lecturer at the William Harvey Research Institute, QMUL.

Thomas Lundbäck

Dr. Lundbäck received his Ph.D. in 1996 in biophysical chemistry at the Karolinska Institutet. His thesis focused on the interactions between protein and DNA molecules, analyzing the thermodynamics of binding, and investigating the stability of the individual macromolecules. He continued his work in this field as a postdoctoral fellow at University College London between 1997-1998. He was then recruited to Pharmacia & Upjohn and following a spin-out of Biovitrum in 2002, he became responsible for a team working on assay development and high throughput screening. Dr. Lundbäck has nearly two decades of experience with enzymatic and cell-based assays in a broad range of different therapeutic areas, a significant portion of which was obtained at Chemical Biology Consortium Sweden (CBCS) at Karolinska Institutet. It is in this setting he encountered the cellular thermal shift assay (CETSA) and played a role in the addition of high throughput screening capacity to this technology. While continuing to serve as a senior advisor for CBCS, Thomas Lundbäck joined AstraZeneca in 2017 as an Associate Director within the global Discovery Sciences organisation. Within this setting he leads a team of scientists that provide local support in SAR profiling and mechanism of action studies and Wave 1 DMPK data globally within AstraZeneca.