Research & Development

Our Research

R&D in the UK

The healthcare environment globally is changing at a rapid pace. Healthcare is becoming more personalised, treatments are becoming more targeted and economic pressures mean governments and healthcare systems are demanding increasingly cost-effective solutions to healthcare problems.

Our mission is to make a difference through our medicines for patients, their families, our stakeholders, and society in general. We believe that scientific research is the key to achieving this, in collaboration with others who share our interest and our passion. Within the overall AstraZeneca strategy, cutting-edge innovation is at the heart of what we do, and our R&D strategy has been carefully constructed to deliver on our promise to our patients, customers, and shareholders.

Globally, our R&D focus is on six key therapeutic areas where we believe our skills and experience can make the most difference: cancer, infection, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, gastrointestinal, neuroscience and respiratory.

The UK is a major centre of our research into and development of new medicines, with R&D employees based across Alderley Park and Macclesfield in Cheshire, MedImmune in Cambridge and our Brixham site in Devon.

Research & Development

Alderley Park, a leading R&D site in our global network, plays a vital role in our strategy as the lead centre for cancer research. The site houses the global Advanced Lead Discovery Centre, which contains innovative compound management and high throughput screening facilities to assist with the drug discovery process.


As well as drug discovery, Alderley Park is also central to late phase development projects for AstraZeneca (i.e. medicines in phase II and beyond – please see our global website for more on the path to new medicines. At Macclesfield, AstraZeneca has opened a Pharmaceutical Development laboratory building to support the development of new medicines, focusing on AstraZeneca’s emerging portfolio in oncology and infection. The facility houses multi-disciplinary teams of scientists and specialists involved in chemistry, analytics, chemical engineering and project management.

We also have a specialist capability to study the effects of pharmaceuticals in the environment at our site in Brixham.