AstraZeneca's MedImmune facility is located in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

Over one billion dollars is spent annually on research and development.

Everything from research to chemical formulation occurs at the Gaithersburg facility to enable the best products for drug development.

AstraZeneca—an eye on today and tomorrow’s solutions

By Laura Toraldo

(April 05, 2018, Gaithersburg, MD) — Innovation, sustainability, and balance are the driving business mantras at the research-based pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.

Recognizing the benefits of the proximity of both Baltimore City and Washington D.C., in 2013, AstraZeneca made Gaithersburg, Maryland one of its global research and development hubs. The region, also known as the BioHealth Capital Region, is home to over 800 life science companies and 70 federal labs, as well as a pipeline of talent, the location makes business ideal for the global biopharmaceutical company.

Together with MedImmune, the company’s global biologics research and development arm, AstraZeneca employs thousands of employees including scientists, researchers, and engineers at its Gaithersburg facility and in D.C.. MedImmune focuses research across oncology, respiratory, cardiovascular, renal and metabolic infections and vaccines.

Significant discoveries have hatched here—including extending the half-life of antibodies—a breakthrough in reducing the dosage of prophylaxis required for children suffering from respiratory syncytial virus.

“We overcame the challenges and put the antibody to the test in human clinical trials and it worked perfectly,” said Chief Technology Officer and Global Head of Antibody Discovery and Engineering Herren Wu.

It was a ‘Eureka!’ moment. Not many people can have that type of experience.

Producing life-saving medicine is not the only initiative for AstraZeneca and MedImmune. It strives for sustainability with corporate goals to both reduce greenhouse gas emissions and remain conscientious of water usage and waste.

Innovation translates into the physical working environment as well. Open floor plans and ‘non-walled’ cubicles invite interaction and collaboration among workers, while a 10,000 square foot fitness center and beanbag rooms provide alternative spaces for brainstorming.

“What sets us apart is our freedom to dream big—to come up with new ideas and take smart risks in the pursuit of science,” said Bahija Jallal, president of MedImmune and executive vice president of AstraZeneca. “With our entrepreneurial spirit and collaborative approach, we have the vision of modifying or even curing diseases such as cancer, diabetes and asthma, while nurturing the next generation of outstanding scientists.”

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