Early-stage research will transfer to a new company, while AZ and MedImmune retain late-stage programmes

The early-stage anti-infectives research wing of Anglo-Swedish pharma major AstraZeneca (AZ) is being spun out to form a stand-alone subsidiary. The new firm will receive $40 million (£26 million) from AZ, as well as staff from the company’s Innovative Medicines unit in Waltham, US. Around 95 staff will be affected, and AZ expects several of those not transferred to the new company to be relocated within AZ.

The new company’s principal asset will be the novel gyrase inhibitor AZD0914, which is currently in Phase II clinical trials for treating gonorrhoea. AZ will retain all its anti-infectives that are already on the market, as well as its biological drug programmes through MedImmune. Both AZ and MedImmune will continue to contribute to the European Innovative Medicines Initiative programme for combating bacterial resistance, an AZ spokeswoman confirmed.