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AstraZeneca to accelerate global R&D activities for rare diseases with new Development Hub in Barcelona

AstraZeneca to accelerate global R&D activities for rare diseases with new Development Hub in Barcelona

New Development Hub aims to foster and develop next-generation treatment
options for rare diseases by broadening global clinical development and operations capabilities

Alexion, AstraZeneca’s Rare Disease group, is establishing a new global Development Hub in Barcelona, Spain, to support the creation of innovative medicines to best serve people affected by rare diseases. Alexion plans a significant investment in the new Development Hub with the recruitment of up to 100 research and development (R&D) specialists during the next two years. Gonzalo de Miquel, M.D., currently Vice President BioPharmaceuticals Medical Respiratory & Immunology at AstraZeneca, has been appointed Vice President Head of the new Development Hub.

Marc Dunoyer, Chief Executive, Alexion said: “We are extremely proud to launch our first European-based Development Hub, which represents our continued commitment to growing our global R&D footprint. With this expanded presence in Barcelona, we will accelerate the clinical development of our pipeline to bring new life-transforming therapies to people living with rare diseases.”

Rare diseases represent a significant unmet medical need. Of the around 7,000 rare diseases, about 95% do not have an approved treatment option available.

The combined companies are bringing together AstraZeneca’s capabilities in precision medicine and global footprint and Alexion’s expertise in rare disease development and commercialisation to continue to pioneer the discovery and development of medicines for people with rare diseases.

Gonzalo de Miquel commented on his new role: “Barcelona is quickly becoming one of the most vibrant life sciences cities in Europe, making it an ideal location for our new Development Hub. It’s a great honour to lead this new Hub, in my home city, to explore and develop new life-changing therapeutic options for patients suffering from rare diseases. Our ambition is to become one of the largest centres of clinical excellence and innovation for rare diseases in Europe.”



Alexion, AstraZeneca Rare Disease, is the group within AstraZeneca focused on rare diseases, created following the 2021 acquisition of Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. As a leader in rare diseases for nearly 30 years, Alexion is focused on serving patients and families affected by rare diseases and devastating conditions through the discovery, development and commercialisation of life-changing medicines. Alexion focuses its research efforts on novel molecules and targets in the complement cascade and its development efforts on haematology, nephrology, neurology, metabolic disorders, cardiology, and ophthalmology. Headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, Alexion has offices around the globe and serves patients in more than 50 countries. Please visit


AstraZeneca (LSE/STO/Nasdaq: AZN) is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development, and commercialisation of prescription medicines in Oncology, Rare Diseases, and BioPharmaceuticals, including 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.

For more information, please visit and follow us on Twitter @AstraZeneca.

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Last Updated: 09-Mar-2022