Gaithersburg biotech MedImmune and Boston-based Joslin Diabetes Center announced plans Tuesday to work together on new drug candidates that could someday regenerate insulin cells, increase calorie-burning "brown fat" or even replicate the effects of bariatric surgery.
MedImmune, which is the biologics research and development arm of U.K. pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN), and Joslin, a nonprofit diabetes organization affiliated with Harvard Medical School, said they formed a three-year collaboration to target diabetes, obesity and related metabolic disorders.
Under the agreement, MedImmune will provide research funding to Joslin and offer drug development expertise, while Joslin will bring early metabolic disease research and clinical care infrastructure. MedImmune has the option to license development and commercial rights to projects emerging from the collaboration.
It's among a flurry of partnerships for MedImmune in recent months. In February, MedImmune and the National Institute of Standards and Technology unveiled a five-year agreement where they will jointly research tools to develop new biopharmaceutical drugs or make existing therapies more effective. In October 2014, Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc., the University of Pennsylvania and MedImmune announced a plan to collaborate on monoclonal antibody-based infectious disease treatments.