Genentech and UCSF to join forces on drug development

In the most recent example of the growing relationship between drug developers and academic research teams, Genentech has inked a partnership deal with investigators at UC San Francisco to develop new therapies for neurodegenerative diseases.

In what could well prove to be a model for future development programs, Genentech will fund the work of several researchers at the UCSF Small Molecule Discovery Center who will collaborate with a team at Genentech. UCSF also stands to bring in up to $13 million in milestones plus royalties on any new products.

The pact brings together some players who have a long track record together. UC San Francisco's chancellor is Susan Desmond-Hellmann (photo), the former Genentech wunderkind who helped lead a string of blockbusters to the market. And the UCSF center is run by Jim Wells, PhD, who spent 16 years doing protein engineering work at Genentech.

"What is transformative about this agreement from the university's perspective is that it is a true collaboration between UCSF and Genentech scientists with the intent to generate drug candidates. This is different from a standard out-license or simple research collaboration," said Wells.

- check out the release for more info