Canada's Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD) has entered into a strategic collaboration with AstraZeneca to develop new and improved therapies for better treatment of patients.

Under the deal, CDRD and AstraZeneca will identify novel drug targets across a wide range of diseases with an unmet medical need.

CDRD interim president and CEO Gordon McCauley said: “This agreement provides unique resources that will allow CDRD to provide validation and screening for novel drug targets unlike any other centre in Canada.

“The partnership with AstraZeneca, our newest global industry partner, builds on the strength of hundreds of researchers, and applies business discipline and scientific rigour to select promising targets for development.”

"This agreement provides unique resources that will allow CDRD to provide validation and screening for novel drug targets unlike any other centre in Canada."

As part of the agreement, AstraZeneca will make 250,000 compounds from its chemical compound library available to CDRD in a bid to validate, as well as develop effective new drug therapies.

The new private public partnership will continue to promote Canadian health research projects by advancing important researches from the university labs through independent testing and validation, and towards clinical trials and commercialisation.

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AstraZeneca external sciences head Dr Garry Pairaudeau said: “We are excited to be working with CDRD through the AstraZeneca open innovation programme.

“Canada has excellent drug discovery capabilities and a vibrant biological research community. Our hope is that this collaboration will help us advance some truly innovative research across a number of therapeutic areas.”

The collaboration will further validate the CDRD model of delivering specialised expertise and infrastructure to identify, as well as advance major discoveries generated by health-related research.

The new discoveries will then be transformed into commercially profitable investment opportunities for the private sector, eventually providing new and effective therapies for patients.