AstraZeneca in Cambridge

  • UK

Where science thrives

The Discovery Centre (DISC) in Cambridge, UK, is a state-of-the-art global R&D facility enabling the delivery of our science-led strategy, turning science into medicine.

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Cambridge is one of the most exciting bioscience hotspots in the world. The Discovery Centre (DISC), located at the heart of the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, is designed to play a central role in our mission to deliver life-changing medicines to patients. As our largest research and development centre in the UK, it will have more than 2,000 people working across therapy areas and drug discovery and development once fully occupied. It is uniquely designed to strengthen collaboration, promote openness, and improve the sustainability of every aspect of our science and our business operations.

The Discovery Centre is designed to foster collaboration and interaction – helping us accelerate the development of medicines for patients. This state-of-the-art building, the novel technologies and talented scientists it houses, will help us sustain and build the next wave of transformational medicines across our therapy areas.

Mene Pangalos EVP, BioPharmaceuticals R&D

Unveiling The Discovery Centre

On 23 November 2021, we officially unveiled The DISC in Cambridge, UK, highlighting its potential to design the future of R&D. Opened by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, we welcomed leading researchers from the scientific community, dignitaries and partners aligned with our ambition to advance healthcare, to hear about the types of pioneering research and technology that will be employed within the building.

Our ambition today is to not only unveil a building, but to also drive the next wave of scientific innovation. Our new Discovery Centre in Cambridge raises the bar for sustainable R&D and global collaboration across our industry. It will allow us to break new boundaries in the understanding of disease biology and bring life-changing medicines to patients and power the next stage of our company’s growth.

Pascal Soriot Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer

Designing the future of R&D

The DISC represents our belief in what science can do. It has been designed to enable scientists to discover new medicines more efficiently and deliver them more effectively, harnessing the power of data and artificial intelligence, digital technologies and novel precision medicine approaches.

Here, as in all our research efforts worldwide, we’ll be striving to enhance our understanding of disease biology, discover new ways to target drivers of disease, better predict clinical success, and pioneer new approaches to engagement in the clinic.

Open doors, open minds

To achieve our ambitions and address the biggest healthcare challenges, we need to keep our doors and minds open. This is why The DISC has been purposefully designed to make the innovative science behind the glass visible, encouraging open interaction between our scientists and the surrounding scientific and medical community. We have already established over two hundred partnerships across Cambridge with academia, business, and leading scientific institutions. Expanding collaboration will enable us to create the greatest and swiftest impact on disease.

By working with our neighbours and driving a convergence of innovation, collaboration and talent from the heart of the Cambridge Biomedical Campus and beyond, we will develop our culture and accelerate the science in our key therapy areas of Oncology, Cardiovascular, Renal & Metabolism, Respiratory & Immunology and rare diseases.

Susan Galbraith EVP, Oncology R&D

Culture guided by our core values

Our people are our greatest asset and we know what’s possible when we bring together a talented and diverse team that believes in what science can do. The DISC, alongside our other strategic science hubs around the world, demonstrates our focus on innovative science, whilst ensuring our company is a great place to work.

Our five core values determine the way we work and the behaviours that underpin our efforts to be successful. For example, we make a commitment to follow where the science leads us, and to consider patients when making our key decisions.

Making a difference as part of the community

We take an active part in our community and work in partnership with numerous local initiatives. These include a STEM outreach programme designed to inspire the next generation of scientists. Our STEM Ambassadors share their passion and drive to help children and young adults engage with science through a wide range of initiatives and activities in the community.

Through business mentoring in Cambridge, we also facilitate connections between entrepreneurs and business mentors, providing educational and practical advice and guidance. In addition, by selecting a Cambridge Charity of the Year, we are able to support the local community through partnership where it is really needed.

Our ambition is that The Discovery Centre will expand our reach across the local community, inviting further scientific partners and peers, neighbours, college students, school children and the public to see for themselves what science can do. Our STEM ambassadors enjoy getting involved in local community activities and giving something back, it is great for the local community and employee engagement.

Penny James COO, BioPharmaceuticals R&D

A sustainable future

We are dedicated to making our science and our business sustainable. The DISC exemplifies this in every aspect of what we do – helping to protect the environment by how we operate our labs and discover, develop and produce our medicines.

Environmental sustainability forms the basis of the design of the new building, focusing on increasing energy efficiency and working with the natural environment. We have embedded the design principles of the world’s leading sustainability assessment method for high performing buildings, and our sustainable design features are expected to reduce heating and lighting consumption by over 40% compared to a typical building. From day one our scientists will be working in an operationally carbon neutral building – a first for us.

Veeva ID: Z4-40270
Date of preparation: November 2021