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AstraZeneca spins out early-stage R&D for antibiotic compounds

AstraZeneca is creating a standalone subsidiary to work exclusively on early-stage antibiotics research and development, the company has announced.

It is investing US$40m in the new company, which it says it expects to be run by staff currently working for its innovative medicines unit.

The new unnamed company will take over development of AstraZeneca’s novel gyrase inhibitor AZD0914 for gonorrhoea, currently in phase ll trials.

The move reflects AstraZeneca’s desire to redeploy resources to its main therapy areas and it anticipates that it will “provide greater flexibility for the future development of the early-stage small molecule anti-infectives pipeline”.

The company says the restructuring will affect around 95 staff currently employed at its Waltham site in Massachusetts in the United States. Some will be offered roles within the new company while others may have to move to other jobs within AstraZeneca, according to a company statement issued on 26 February 2015.

The decision will not impact existing products on the market, the statement confirms. Nor does it affect the company’s late-stage small molecule infection programmes, or the portfolio of biologic anti-infectives being developed by Medimmune, AstraZeneca’s global biologics research and development arm.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2015.20068071

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