Posted January 25th 2013

recent PharmaPhorum post explored the process through which AstraZeneca approaches potential external opportunities via an interview with Shaun Grady, VP, Strategic Partnering & Business Development at AstraZeneca.

It all starts with strategy. We have made partnering or ‘externalization’ firmly part of the corporate strategy. We take that strategic intent, and we develop strategies for our early discovery and early development parts of the business, which in AstraZeneca are called iMeds, that’s Innovative Medicine Units. There are five iMeds for small molecules. There is also our MedImmune large molecule biologics business. Then we have the phase III later stage part of the business which is called Global Medicines Development. For each of those areas we then develop a business development strategy, and a ranked list of targets that we would like to secure and bring into the business.

The question of what we look for in a partner is very much dependent upon the specific area of the business that you’re working in. It’s very much tailored to the fit whether it’s a platform technology in the early phases of our activity, or if we’re looking for a product to commercialize in emerging markets for example.

There is no one type of partner, in fact it’s a very rich and diverse mix of different partners, depending on what it is that you’re trying to achieve. We actually pride ourselves in tailoring the deals that we do to fit the requirements and identity of the partner, and the particular subject matter of the agreement. We’ve conducted deals in a whole variety of types and shapes, whether it’s licensing, or acquisition, or risk share, or collaboration, because we firmly believe that no two deals are alike, and the trick is to find the deal that fits the needs of the partner and the needs of AstraZeneca.

AZ is collaborating with leading academic institutions and pre-competitive research consortiums, seeking high-quality partnerships and business development opportunities to tap into the best science available externally, to grow and enhance our portfolio.

Grady goes on to discuss what disease and treatment areas AZ is most interested in, the engagement process itself, and past partnerships that have been successful. To read more, visit the PharmaPhorum’s post.

To learn more about partnering with AstraZeneca, visit http://www.astrazeneca-us.com/about-us/partnering.