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2 Major Pharmaceutical Rivals to Share Drug Data

They are hoping to lower R&D risks and costs


prescription drugsAstraZeneca (AZN) is partnering with Roche (RHHBY) to accelerate drug development.

The two companies will provide their research data to MedChemica, which will analyze the data to identify potential problems with drugs in development. The new research alliance is part of a growing trend among pharmaceutical makers, who are increasing combining resources in order to mitigate the risks and expense of drug research, the Wall Street Journal notes.

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MedChemica will receive selected data about past drug research, but the companies will retain proprietary information about early-stage drugs. The partnership will create a library of data regarding compounds used in drug research.

An executive at Roche noted that the partnership with AstraZeneca would help control research costs by increasing the efficiency of drug development.

In the last decade, AstraZeneca teamed with Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) to create diabetes treatments and Pfizer (PFE) and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) partnered to work on drugs to fight H.I.V.

Shares of AstraZeneca rose more than 1% in pre-market trading on Wednesday.

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