London-Based drug firm, AstraZeneca has entered into a new field of developing drugs using proteins secreted by the cells called as “Secretome”. It has signed a three-year contract with the newly established Wallenberg Center for Protein Research (WCPR). Swedish government has announced to fund $100 million for the company’s research on Secretome therapeutics.
AstraZeneca’s Innovative Medicines biotech unit (iMED) will screen the Secretome library using the company’s proprietary assays to identify new protein-based targets for compound development across a range of diseases. It will also create new ‘cell factories’ for the large-scale production of therapeutic proteins.
Pascal Soriot, AstraZeneca chief executive, said, “We’re tremendously excited to be part of this innovative collaboration as we explore what science can do to advance medical research. Harnessing the power of the Secretome in this unprecedented way will help us to identify new biomarkers, drug targets and ultimately develop next-generation biological treatments.”
The comapny said that Secretome plays a major role in most biological processes like cardiac regeneration, the maintenance of functioning cells for glucose balance, cancer proliferation and migration. This group of proteins is therefore considered to be an invaluable source for identifying new biomarkers, drug targets and for developing novel biologics.
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