AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) has not been among the most successful big pharma companies in recent years. First-quarter revenue this year slipped 12%, while income and EPS fell 21% compared to the year-ago period. What's the reason? The company lost patent protection for Seroquel, Atacand, and Crestor with few immediate options to replace the lost sales, which will heighten the scrutiny for each pipeline move in the short term.

In that regard, the company has a fair showing in the pipeline, including several ongoing attempts to expand indications for drugs already on the market. But it also lacks the "wow" factor for novelty. Hitting it big like its big pharma peers will require taking some big leaps. Luckily, a recent partnership with the University of Manchester Paterson Institute for Cancer Research offers all of the above. Fool contributor Maxx Chatsko breaks down the implications in the following video.

Fool contributor Maxx Chatsko has no position in any stocks mentioned. Check out his personal portfolio, his CAPS page, or follow him on Twitter @BlacknGoldFool to keep up with his writing on energy, bioprocessing, and biotechnology.

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