AstraZeneca to create stand-alone company for small molecule early-stage antibiotic R&D


In line with AstraZeneca’s strategy to sharpen its focus on three main therapy areas, the company is changing the structure of its small molecule early-stage anti-infectives research and development.


AstraZeneca will create a stand-alone subsidiary company, focused exclusively on the research and development of its early-stage antibiotic pipeline, including the novel gyrase inhibitor AZD0914, which is currently in Phase II for the treatment of gonorrhoea. AstraZeneca will invest $40 million in the new company, which it anticipates will be led by and include staff from its Innovative Medicines Unit.

The new structure will provide greater flexibility for the future development of the early stage small molecule anti-infectives pipeline. It reflects the company’s business model of creating value from the promising science that exists in its pipeline for the benefit of patients while redeploying resources in its main therapy areas.

As already communicated to employees, this new way of conducting small molecule antibiotic research and early-stage development will impact approximately 95 employees based in Waltham, MA. It is anticipated that some of the researchers impacted by the changes will take up roles in the new company, or in other parts of AstraZeneca.  AstraZeneca says; "We are fully committed to supporting our people through the transition."

AstraZeneca continues to be committed to research and development in this important area of public health and the decision does not affect the company’s late-stage small molecule infection programmes or MedImmune’s portfolio of biologic anti-infectives. The new structure also has no impact on the on-market products including Merrem, Zinforo, Fluenz/Flumist and Synagis. AstraZeneca continues to progress its late-stage small molecule infection programmes, notably CAZ-AVI, while at the same time exploring partnership opportunities to ensure these potential new treatments reach patients as quickly as possible.


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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.