Monday, 31 December 2012

AstraZeneca invests in R&D into Chinese herbal medicine

AstraZeneca will fund Shanghai research into Herba Leonuri
AstraZeneca has signed a research collaboration with Fudan University, a leading Chinese academic institution in cardiovascular disease research.
The research agreement focuses on pre-clinical studies to understand the mechanism of action of leonurine, a compound derived from Herba Leonuri, a herb used as a traditional Chinese medicine.
Understanding the role of leonurine in cardiovascular diseases such as chronic heart failure, ischemic stroke, and atherosclerosis may ultimately help in the development of novel medicines.
With over 100 million people with heart disease, China is the ‘diabetes capital of the world.’ Cardiovascular diseases are a major complication of diabetes; about 65 percent of people with diabetes die from heart disease and stroke.
“We’re delighted to be collaborating with AstraZeneca, a world-leader in biopharmaceutical innovation,” said Principal Investigator for the research at Fudan University, Professor of Pharmacology and Dean of the School of Pharmacy, Dr Yi-Zhun Zhu. “Understanding the structure and properties of natural substances may open doors to potential drug targets and provide innovative pathways to explore in the fight against major health burdens including cardiovascular disease,” he added.
Under the terms of the agreement, Fudan University scientists will work in collaboration with teams from AstraZeneca’s Cardiovascular and Gastrointestinal Innovative Medicines group over the next two years.
“Partnering and collaborating with scientists, biotech companies and best-in-class academic institutions like Fudan University brings our Asia R&D strategy to life by helping us harness the increasing levels of innovation we see coming out of China and other emerging markets,” said Dr. Steve Yang, AstraZeneca’s Head of R&D for Asia and Emerging Markets.
Source: Asian Scientist

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