We are pleased to announce that we have formed a strategic alliance with MedImmune, the global biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca to bring cutting-edge research and technical capability for biologics to China with the aim of addressing unmet patient needs in AstraZeneca’s main therapy areas of respiratory, inflammation and autoimmunity; cardiovascular and metabolic diseases; and oncology. Under the agreement, AstraZeneca has the option to acquire WuXi’s biologics manufacturing facility in Wuxi city, one of several manufacturing facilities for WuXi, in the next few years. This alliance builds on the existing joint venture between WuXi and MedImmune that was formed in 2012 to develop and commercialize MEDI5117, a novel biologic for autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. It is the first such collaboration in China between a global company and a Chinese company to develop novel biologics. The IND application was subsequently accepted by CFDA for review in March 2015. WuXi will continue manufacturing for the program at its state-of-the-art biologics facilities, the first in China to meet cGMP standards of the United States, the European Union and China.
We are very pleased that our collaboration with MedImmune has leapfrogged to another level of critical importance since our initial collaboration in 2012. Through this strategic partnership, we truly offer a gateway for innovative biologics to be developed in China and to be made available to Chinese patients in an expedited fashion.