AstraZeneca and Sanofi aim to facilitate drug discovery by swapping 210,000 proprietary chemical compounds

Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca and French drug company Sanofi have agreed to exchange 210,000 chemical compounds from their respective proprietary libraries. The move will enhance the chemical diversity of each firm’s collections to assist screening efforts in the hunt for new small-molecule medicines.

The deal is part of a trend towards a more ‘open innovation model’ in pharmaceutical research, in which companies share precompetitive information that would traditionally have been kept secret for mutual advantage.

The companies will exchange structure data and synthetic procedures, to facilitate actual use of the compounds, which will be shared in sufficient quantity to allow the receiving company to conduct high throughput screening for several years.

‘No single institution, company, university or government has a monopoly on innovation,’ a Sanofi spokesperson tells Chemistry World. ‘We will only succeed by working with all those who can help us apply the wealth of new knowledge and cutting-edge technologies that are currently reshaping biopharmaceutical research.’