Case studies

Newcastle University collaboration with Astra Zeneca


An innovative partnership between Newcastle University Medical School and London-based drug development company, Arrow Therapeutics – a subsidiary of Astra Zeneca, has led to the creation of treatments against infection diseases.

Professor Alastair Hawkins and his team in Newcastle carry out valuable protein research, and through a commercial arrangement contribute to the development of anti-viral and anti-bacterial drugs.

Arrow Therapeutics, was co-founded by Professor Hawkins 12 years ago with academic associates from Oxford and Cambridge Universities and University College London.Arrow raised around £40 million of venture capital and private investment to expand its drug development business, of which £4 million has come to Newcastle to enhance the facilities in Professor Hawkins’ laboratory.

Professor Hawkins is a strong advocate of commercial collaboration of this kind that indirectly helps support important areas of academic research and believes that the work is critical is helping to maintain Newcastle’s reputation as a city of scientific innovation and discovery.

“It is almost unheard of to have such a good collaboration between an academic institute and a company that has worked so well,” he says. “Alongside contract research fully paid for by Arrow, the company is happy for us to use the equipment it has provided, for academic research projects in areas we could never have moved into before.”