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AstraZeneca is a global biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialisation of prescription medicines. It operates in over 100 countries and its medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide.

AstraZeneca Case Study

The context

Like the rest of the pharmaceutical sector, AstraZeneca engages in frequent licensing, collaboration and other in-bound transaction activity which, together with externalisation and divestment deals, are required to deliver the business’ strategic objectives.

However, Business Development in this particular industry is highly complex as it is strictly regulated, takes place in multiple territories, and requires the interaction of a diverse set of experts.


  • 120,000 GB of information safely shared in 12 months
  • Over 30 data rooms opened
  • Cost-effective annual contract signed


Due to the complexity of the due diligence process, the volume of sensitive data that AstraZeneca’s Business Development team needs to share is too high to rely on self-service file-sharing solutions, making it the perfect candidate for a managed data room.

However, the Business Development team needed a data room platform that could handle the required volume and complexity of content, protected by advanced security, while ensuring easy access and use for in-house teams and potential partners alike.

It was also important that the platform was completely plug-in free, in order to avoid problems with download restrictions imposed by potential partners’ security policies. In addition, they needed a simple and efficient Q&A module to relay and moderate questions from potential partners, and their lawyers and investors, to the AstraZeneca scientists supporting due diligence.

Finally, it was critical that the provider of any new data room had a 24/7 support team that could handle all deal administration, if required as a back-up to the AstraZeneca team, and speak multiple languages – especially Mandarin, Cantonese and Japanese.


The AstraZeneca team launched a tender process based on the above criteria, and shortlisted three providers. After a series of product demonstrations, compliance sign-offs, and the chance to present in person, they ultimately chose Sterling and decided to sign an exclusive annual contract with us.

In the 12 months we have worked together, their team have securely shared over 120,000 MB of information in over 30 data rooms. They have fully leveraged our Q&A module to simplify buyer/seller communication, used our reporting module to keep up to date on bidder activity, and harnessed the language abilities of our Customer Services team to resolve some of the challenges posed by international deals.

Because AstraZeneca has an exclusive agreement with us, it can circumvent the cost of opening data rooms on a deal-by-deal basis, reduce the training time it would take to learn multiple platforms, and act as an executive stakeholder in our product roadmap.