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Michigan Medicine and MedImmune partner in diabetes and metabolic disease research

Alliance will work to identify potential new therapies

ANN ARBOR, Mich. and GAITHERSBURG, Md. – Michigan Medicine and MedImmune, the global biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN), have entered into a three-year research alliance to identify potential new therapies for the prevention and treatment of diabetes, obesity and related metabolic disorders.

The organizations are combining their research expertise to explore how the central nervous system and peripheral tissues rely on each other in these three major disease areas. In addition, researchers will develop and utilize cutting-edge technologies to study genetic models in order to understand and identify targets for the treatment of diabetes and related diseases.

“Creating new avenues for the exchange of innovative ideas and groundbreaking research among scientists from industry and academia is a critical part of drug discovery and development, and our partnership with Michigan Medicine is positioned to be living proof of that,” says Cristina Rondinone, head of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases Innovative Medicines at MedImmune. “As the number of patients suffering from obesity continues to expand at an alarming rate, the need to identify new therapies is more important than ever. In working collaboratively with Michigan Medicine’s world-renowned metabolic scientists, we are creating an excellent team of researchers with potentially transformative implications for patients.”

Michigan Medicine experts in metabolism, gastroenterology and neuroendocrinology will collaborate with MedImmune on projects in the biotech’s existing Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases research portfolio.

“Every day, we’re making new connections between University of Michigan researchers and potential industry partners, facilitated by our Fast Forward Medical Innovation team,” notes Stephen Kunkel, Ph.D., senior associate dean for research at the University of Michigan Medical School. “With the ultimate goal of having a positive impact on patients, this collaboration with MedImmune is an opportunity for our researchers from multiple disciplines to work with a company whose strategies align with our deep strengths in diabetes and metabolic diseases.”

The Michigan Medicine team will be led by Martin Myers, M.D., Ph.D., professor of internal medicine and molecular and integrative physiology at Michigan Medicine, and director of the Michigan Diabetes Research and Training Center. The Michigan Medicine team includes fellow researchers Randy Seeley, Ph.D., Ormond MacDougald, Ph.D., Malcolm Low, M.D., Ph.D., and David Olson, M.D., Ph.D. The MedImmune team is headed by Chris Rhodes Ph.D., VP of CVMD Research, along with Joe Grimsby Ph.D and Jim Trevaskis Ph.D.

About Michigan Medicine

At Michigan Medicine, we create the future of healthcare through the discovery of new knowledge for the benefit of patients and society; educate the next generation of physicians, health professionals and scientists; and serve the health needs of our citizens. We pursue excellence every day in our three hospitals, 40 outpatient locations and home care operations that handle more than 2.1 million outpatient visits a year. The University of Michigan Medical School is one of the nation’s biomedical research powerhouse, with total research funding of more than $470 million. For more information:

About MedImmune

MedImmune is the global 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 Oncology, Respiratory, Cardiovascular & Metabolic Diseases, and Infection and Vaccines. The MedImmune headquarters is located in Gaithersburg, Md., one of AstraZeneca’s three global R&D centres, with additional sites in Cambridge, UK and Mountain View, CA. For more information, please visit

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