has appointed Professor Bo Angelin to lead the Integrated Cardio Metabolic Centre (ICMC), a joint initiative with AstraZeneca. Now it is a matter of recruiting scientists to the centre.
Bo Angelin is a Professor of Clinical Metabolism at Karolinska Institutet and a senior consultant at the Department of Endocrinology, Metabolism & Diabetes at Karolinska University Hospital. He is an internationally renowned researcher in the field of lipid metabolism and was recently awarded a grant from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation for identifying new mechanisms responsible for congenital blood lipid disorders with a high risk of early cardiovascular disease.
Over the coming three years, Professor Angelin will also be leading some thirty or so scientists from Karolinska Institutet and AstraZeneca, who will be conducting clinical and pre-clinical studies together in order to identify the mechanisms behind cardiovascular disease and metabolic diseases, and to find new target molecules for treatment.
"These research areas are very important, and the ICMC links in to my own research," says Professor Angelin. "It will be truly exciting to take on this task, and I see good opportunities to tie the very best scientists to us."
During the first five years, AstraZeneca will be contributing a total of USD 100 million (approximately SEK 650 million), making it the largest collaborative venture that the company has ever entered into with an academic institution. The ICMC will be located on Karolinska Institutet's Huddinge campus, and now that it has been assigned a director in the shape of Professor Angelin, it can start to recruit scientists.
"My expectations on this collaboration are high," says Professor Anders Hamsten, vice chancellor of Karolinska Institutet. "Increased knowledge of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases is very important to public health. Both Karolinska and AstraZeneca have a research focus in these areas and together we can move from basic research to drug project with speed to the benefit of many patients and to the whole of society."
"We want to increase open innovation initiatives with academia to complement our global network of both small molecule and biologics expertise," says AstraZeneca Chief Executive Officer Pascal Soriot. "The Karolinska Institutet/AstraZeneca ICMC is a perfect example of what such collaborations could look like."
Karolinska Institutet and AstraZeneca have a long history of collaboration in several fields, of which cardiovascular disease is one of the most important. In December 2012 the parties signed a three-year research collaboration focusing on advancements in cardiac regenerative therapy. The work is being led by Professor Kenneth Chien, a global authority on cardiovascular science, who will be collaborating with the ICMC. In September 2013, his research group published very interesting results from a study showing how stem cells can be used to repair a damaged heart following an infarction.