Britain’s Prince Charles opens new AstraZeneca research center

CAMBRIDGE, England, November 23 (Reuters) – Britain’s Prince Charles will formally open a new £ 1 billion ($ 1.3 billion) AstraZeneca (AZN.L) research and development facility (R & D) on Tuesday, as the company aims to to drive the growth of its drug pipeline.

AstraZeneca has delivered two billion doses of its COVID-1[ads1]9 vaccine, developed at Oxford University, and also wants to bring a preventive antibody cocktail against COVID-19 to market. read more

But while the company is setting up a separate department for vaccine and antibody treatments in light of the coronavirus pandemic, it has also strengthened other research areas

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Earlier this year, AstraZeneca completed the $ 39 billion acquisition of rare disease specialist Alexion. read more

“Our new Discovery Center in Cambridge … will allow us to break new ground in the understanding of disease biology, bring life-changing medicines to patients and drive the next phase of the company’s growth,” said CEO Pascal Soriot in a statement.

Prince Charles, son of Queen Elizabeth and heir to the throne, will take a walk in the center and give a short speech at the opening.

Plans for AstraZeneca’s new headquarters and large R & D campus in Cambridge were unveiled in 2013, but costs and timeframe have exceeded the original estimate of £ 330 million and a planned completion date in 2016.

AstraZeneca, which has a large portfolio of treatments for diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes, said the center will support research into specialized drugs and next-generation therapy, including gene editing and cell therapy.

“We want advances that can come to the clinic over the next three, four years that can lead to truly effective new drugs in various aspects of cancer treatment,” said Dr. Susan Galbraith, AstraZeneca’s Executive Vice President, Oncology Research and Development. Reuters in an interview.

“I am very optimistic that we can make a big difference for this disease in the coming decade.”

($ 1 = £ 0.7454)

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Reporting by Alistair Smout Further reporting by Ludwig Burger in Frankfurt Editing by Mark Potter and Louise Heavens

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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