- Global Pharma News & Resources

Innovation and beyond: AstraZeneca revolutionising health experiences through unique partnerships

Reimagining how to improve patient outcomes: digital activation event highlights how AstraZeneca’s A.Catalyst Network is supporting diverse startups.


27 September 2021

The first of two AstraZeneca events with Slush brought together global health tech innovators and diverse patient perspectives to help answer the question, ‘How can innovation help rebuild healthcare?’ AstraZeneca’s A.Catalyst Network is leveraging its partnership with Slush to improve experiences, advance access and accelerate better health outcomes through innovation. The A.Catalyst Network, is the new home of patient-enabled innovation, with more than 20 global hubs, spanning Emerging Markets, Europe, Canada, Japan and the US, each with a unique focus depending on the hub’s local characteristics and needs.


The virtual event ‘How can innovation help rebuild healthcare?’ Provided a platform for innovators to come together to discuss health innovation insights through interactive founder roundtables. Key topics of conversation at the event included:

  • The current state of the healthcare innovation landscape, including global unmet needs and trends. Notably focusing on digital evolution and transformation and the opportunities this has enabled for collaboration
  • How to build successful companies and overcome common challenges and obstacles which are experienced by startups
  • The importance of diverse patient-enabled insights in driving enhanced solutions
  • How finding the right fit within partnerships supports the significant ability to amplify innovation in healthcare
  • A roundtable event with Chris Genders, Founder, Gendius, Albane Grandjean, Head of Marketing and Clinical Affairs, Gleamer, and Cyrus Chan, Assistant Director, HKSTP, in which they discussed the challenges faced by startups and key opportunities for success


The digital activations, which AstraZeneca is holding in collaboration with Slush, highlight how and why its A.Catalyst Network is looking to support startups, tech innovators and founders in achieving their goals of developing biomedical solutions to improve outcomes for patients.


Miika Huttunen, CEO, Slush, said “Last week’s event was extremely valuable, Slush is focused on creating change and generating the next generation of entrepreneurs. AstraZeneca’s A.Catalyst Network is a fantastic example of how unique partnerships can make this possible. We are experiencing a real increase in cross-sector convergence, which can cause challenges for alignment, but also provide a significant opportunity to develop better healthcare solutions and meet needs which a lack of collaboration and technological advancement made unmeetable in the past.”


AstraZeneca’s partnership with Slush forms a natural extension to the ground-breaking work they are doing with A.Catalyst Network. Slush and A.Catalyst Network work to bring together thinkers and resources to reimagine how to improve patient outcomes, using connected decision making, knowledge sharing, collaboration, cutting-edge research and development and fostering of innovative technologies.


Aleksandr Bedenkov, VP Medical International at AstraZeneca, said “Innovation does not happen in isolation, it starts from a conversation, preferably with strangers. Our partnership with Slush brings together diverse stakeholders across a variety of industries and geographies with the aim to reimagine patient experiences and ensure better outcomes, by advancing equitable access to affordable, high-quality and innovative healthcare solutions.”

AstraZeneca’s second virtual event with Slush on 21 October will explore the practicalities and importance of forging non-traditional partnerships in order to bolster innovation.


AstraZeneca (LSE/STO/Nasdaq: AZN) is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of diseases in three therapy areas – Oncology, Cardiovascular, Renal & Metabolism, and Respiratory & Immunology. Based in Cambridge, UK, AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. Please visit and follow the Company on Twitter @AstraZeneca.


Slush is the world's leading startup event and a student-led, not-for-profit movement. Slush's annual main event, organised this year in Helsinki on 1–2 December,, gathers thousands of investors, founders, journalists, and executives to Helsinki annually during late autumn. On top of events and Node by Slush, Slush runs an online media called Soaked by Slusha newsletter with 70k+ subscribers, research pieces, and much more. Slush Oy is owned by the Startup Foundation. The Startup Foundation aims to support and enable entrepreneurship and the creation, growth, and internationalization of startups in the Nordics. As with previous years, Slush's annual operating profit will be used directly to develop the events and support entrepreneurship through new projects and initiatives. & @SlushHQ.


For media enquiries please contact:


Ana Zainaghi


Editor Details

Last Updated: 28-Sep-2021