The development revolution starts now--at a university near you

Roche says that it will work with the University of Geneva, Geneva University Hospitals and the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics in the translational research arena--just the latest example of a big pharma company that has been searching the globe for some expert help developing new drugs and diagnostics. And certainly not the last.

Like Sanofi and other big outfits, Roche has been reaching out more and more to academics to glean new insights on how they can do their work better. For these companies, the academic tie-ups are a strategic approach to changing the way they have tried--and often failed--at their own in-house efforts. And as Institutional Investor notes in their in-depth feature on the subject, the future of these companies will now rely heavily upon the success or failure of these new pharma/academia collaborations.

"For the last 20 years, [Big Pharma] built huge infrastructures and had huge wins on the short term," adds Ian Wilcox, head of life sciences at Hay Group. "Now that business model requires an investor risk that is becoming untenable."

"It's not a productivity crisis for the industry," Kenneth Kaitin, director of Tufts University's Center for the Study of Drug Development, tells Institutional Investor. "It's a business-model crisis."

- check out the release on the Roche pact
- and read the article from Institutional Investor