This has not been the best year for drug companies developing therapies for neurodegenerative diseases. For example this year alone, there were the failed clinical trials of potential Alzheimer’s therapeutics, bapineuzumab and solanezumab, as well as the failed trial of a potential ALS therapeutic, Ceftriaxone. The message is loud and clear — drug development for neurodegenerative diseases is difficult, and there are clear challenges preventing advancement. AstraZeneca realizes these challenges and hopes to take a new approach, a virtual one. AstraZeneca has created the ‘Virtual’ Neuroscience Innovative Medicines Unit (iMed). The iMed team, which consists of about 40 scientists, uses several different programs to search external resources in order to identify new developments in neuroscience and find contract research organizations that will perform pre-clinical studies. AstraZeneca hopes to minimize costs and maximize the potential for lead drugs by using iMed to manage their pipeline and relationships with their external research partners.
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