LONDON, UK I August 20, 2014 I AstraZeneca and Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation (MTPC) today announce a three-year research collaboration in the area of diabetic nephropathy. The aim of the research collaboration is to leverage complementary strengths, expertise and assets to validate and progress novel research targets and molecules into clinical development.

The collaboration will span from target selection up to the delivery of small molecule candidate drugs. Targets from each company’s early research portfolios have been identified as approaches of common interest and additional targets may be included under the collaboration at a later stage, if mutually desired. The research will be performed in parallel at AstraZeneca’s Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disease Innovative Medicines Unit (CVMD iMed) in Mölndal, Sweden, and at MTPC’s facilities in Japan. The parties believe that the collaboration will yield high quality candidate drugs much faster than working alone. There is no financial commitment for the research involved and each party will contribute equal resource at their own cost.

Diabetic nephropathy (failure of the kidney function due to diabetes) occurs in as many as 50% of patients who have diabetes for 20 years or more. It is the leading cause of end stage renal disease which carries significant morbidity of cardiovascular disease and mortality.

“Diabetes is a core therapeutic area for AstraZeneca and a key growth platform for the company. With current approaches to diabetic nephropathy resulting in patients needing expensive and limited treatment options, such as dialysis or kidney transplantation, there’s a significant unmet clinical need. This collaboration will allow us to focus on early stage programmes and generate decision-making data faster than working alone, ultimately providing a quicker expansion of our diabetic nephropathy portfolio for the treatment of chronic kidney disease.” Marcus Schindler, Head of CVMD Innovative Medicines Unit, AstraZeneca.

“MTPC is now focusing its drug discovery research efforts and multifaceted translational research, including collaboration with Kyoto University Hospital and TMK project, to developing new treatments for chronic kidney disease patients. We expect the new collaboration with AstraZeneca will strengthen the expertise of both companies in this area and accelerate the delivery of new medicines for patients with diabetic nephropathy.”Takashi Kobayashi, Division manager of Research division, MTPC.

About Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation

Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation is a research-driven pharmaceutical company based in Japan, specializing in research, development and marketing of globally competitive pharmaceutical products focused on the field of autoimmune disease, diabetes and kidney disease, CNS disease, and vaccine. Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma contributes to the healthier lives of people around the world through the creation of pharmaceuticals that respond to unmet medical needs.

About AstraZeneca 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. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. For more information please visit:

SOURCE: AstraZeneca