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AstraZeneca plc. (11/4/13). "Press Release: A*STAR and AstraZeneca Sign a Research Collaboration Agreement to Develop New Antimicrobial Drugs to Combat Gram-negative Bacterial Infections".

Organisations Organisation AstraZeneca plc (LSE: AZN)
  Group AstraZeneca (Group)
  Organisation 2 Experimental Therapeutics Centre (ETC) (A*STAR)
  Group Singapore (govt)
Products Product antibiotic
  Product 2 drug development
Person Person Matter, Alex (Singapore (govt) 201310 CEO ETC of A*STAR before Novartis Global Head Oncology Research)

New deal aims to reverse global rising tide of antibiotic resistance

Two units under Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), the Experimental Therapeutics Centre (ETC) and Exploit Technologies Pte Ltd (ETPL) have signed a joint research collaboration agreement with global biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca (AZ), to develop new drugs to treat Gram-negative bacterial infections. Such infections are believed to cause two thirds of all hospital acquired infection deaths.

Under the agreement, AstraZeneca and ETC will collaborate on joint research projects, with ETC contributing expertise in the discovery and optimization of lead compounds, and AstraZeneca providing expertise in antimicrobial drug discovery. The three-and-a-half-year collaboration focuses on generating high quality preclinical development candidates for entry into clinical studies. The agreement also covers commercialisation and licensing of any arising intellectual property.

"The Experimental Therapeutics Centre is excited to embark in this endeavour with AstraZeneca. The synergy between our novel approaches in lead generation and optimization and AstraZeneca's established track record in anti-infectives would give us both a fighting chance in tackling the challenge of penetrating the Gram negative bacterial armour. By combining our efforts, expertise and experience, I believe we can address this unmet medical need of treating hospital acquired infections caused by Gram negative organisms," said Prof Alex Matter, Chief Executive Officer, ETC.

"Antimicrobial resistance is one of the world's most serious health threats. There is an urgent need to develop new medicines to treat infectious diseases that have become resistant to antibiotics," said Manos Perros, Vice President, Infection Innovative Medicines and Early Development, AstraZeneca. "By bringing together our expertise in drug discovery and development with that of other leading experts in the field, it is our hope that we will improve the chances of fighting antimicrobial resistance and delivering meaningful new medicines to patients."

"This collaboration with AstraZeneca to develop new drugs is a clear endorsement from one of the leading global pharmaceutical companies that our biomedical research capabilities have come of age. It provides an example of how A*STAR partners with industry to bring value to the company and to Singapore," said Dr Benjamin Seet, Executive Director, Biomedical Research Council, Agency for Science Technology and Research (A*STAR).

Pathogenic cause infections including pneumonia, bloodstream infections, wound or surgical site infections, and meningitis in healthcare settings . They are resistant to multiple drugs and are increasingly resistant to available antibiotics. The structure of their double-layered cell wall makes it difficult for drugs to enter and remain in the cell, posing serious challenges in designing potent antibiotics against such organisms. The World Health Organisation said that such Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is increasingly being detected and is spreading rapidly. AMR is rapidly becoming a major public health risk and is threatening to undo decades of advances in the ability to treat disease.

Notes to editors

About Experimental Therapeutics Centre

ETC was set up in 2006 to play an increasingly important role in translating early stage scientific discoveries into practical applications. From engaging in early stage drug discovery and development to developing innovative research tools for clinical analysis, as well as setting up public-private partnerships to facilitate the advancement of drug candidates, ETC augments Singapore's capabilities and resources in the drug discovery process. ETC's capabilities and resources are currently focused on oncology and infectious diseases. It also incubates new technologies for commercialisation and mentors young scientists for careers in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry.

For more information about ETC, visit

About Exploit Technologies Pte Ltd

ETPL is the technology transfer arm of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore's lead agency for fostering world-class scientific research and talent. A*STAR oversees 14 biomedical sciences, physical sciences and engineering research institutes, and six consortia and centres. As a one-stop resource, ETPL supports A*STAR in transforming the economy through driving innovation and commercializing its research outcomes.

Also known as Exploit Technologies Pte Ltd, ETPL enhances the research output of A*STAR scientists by translating their inventions into marketable products or processes. Through shaping and facilitating licensing deals and spin-offs, ETPL actively engages industry leaders and players to commercialise A*STAR's technologies and apply them to building ecosystems that benefit business, industry and economy.

For more information, please visit

About the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)

The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) is the lead agency for fostering world-class scientific research and talent for a vibrant knowledge-based and innovation-driven Singapore. A*STAR oversees 14 biomedical sciences and physical sciences and engineering research institutes, and six consortia & centres, located in Biopolis and Fusionopolis as well as their immediate vicinity.

A*STAR supports Singapore's key economic clusters by providing intellectual, human and industrial capital to its partners in industry. It also supports extramural research in the universities, and with other local and international partners.For more information about A*STAR, please visit:

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of cardiovascular, metabolic, respiratory, inflammation, autoimmune, oncology, infection and neuroscience diseases. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. For more information please visit:


Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)
Hiroshi Limmell
1 Fusionopolis Way
#20-10 Connexis North
Singapore 138632
DID: +65 6826 6145

Lucia Santoso
Experimental Therapeutics Centre
31 Biopolis Way
Nanos Level 3
Singapore 138669
DID: (65) 6407 0389

Vanessa Rhodes
(UK/Global) Tel: (+44) 20 7604 8037

2 World Health Organisation: About antimicrobial resistance.

Record changed: 2019-06-09


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