Roche and AstraZeneca to Share Drug Data

by Deborah Toscano 02 Jul 2013
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MedChemica, a UK consulting company specializing in medicinal chemistry, recently announced an agreement between Roche/Genentech and AstraZeneca to share details of their respective drug molecular designs and some relevant experimental results, with MedChemica acting as the third party to analyze the data using Matched Molecular Pair analysis.   This news caught the attention of the media, since collaborations involving sharing of proprietary intellectual property are rather uncommon in the Pharma industry or any industry where IP protection is so critical to business success.

It appears that the third party company - MedChemica - is a spin-off from AZ. The 3 members of MedChemica are AZ scientists and have published several papers on the application of this medicinal chemistry tool that is the subject of the consortium between AZ and Roche.   Roche has evidently recognized the value of this tool as well for screening their compound library and potentially shaving years off development time by using computer algorithms to analyze molecular structures to predict things that determine the beneficial effects and/or unwanted side effects of a drug.  Since this tool is used to compare many similar molecules to analyze structural relationships and the consequences of subtle changes, the larger the database of compounds to work with, the more effective a tool like this can be, so both parties stand to benefit from this collaboration.  The information contributed by each company won't include the entire molecular structure of their compounds, but instead the before and after alterations to things like side branches.

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