GSK, AZ join hands to create new center for collaborative drug research

Here's an interesting new twist on all the drug development partnerships now being formed between Big Pharma and academia. Take a university known for top drug research, add two Big Pharmas and get everybody to contribute to a new research center devoted to a single disease category.

That's just what GlaxoSmithKline, AstraZeneca and the University of Manchester are doing. Each is investing £5 million to create a new translational research center--the Manchester Collaborative Centre for Inflammation Research--which will be devoted to inflammatory diseases. They plan to recruit scientists who will devote their time to developing new therapeutics for a variety of inflammatory diseases, including COPD, rheumatoid arthritis, IBD and asthma. And they're not wasting any time. The new collaborative center will open later this year.

"The translation of basic research discoveries into new medicines is challenging, but we believe we improve our chances of success through collaborative science. The MCCIR will embody this approach, and I am delighted that GSK has been able to contribute to its development," says Dave Allen, SVP of respiratory research at GSK.

"Inflammatory processes underpin many of our priority areas of research and this is a ground-breaking collaboration. The creation of the new centre is indicative of a new era of pre-competitive sharing within the pharmaceutical sector and with academic scientists, to bring our learning together to ensure the faster delivery of effective medicines to patients," notes Dr. Menelas Pangalos, EVP of innovative medicines at AstraZeneca.

Partnerships between Big Pharma companies breaking down research silos and academic institutions avid to do more collaborative work are all the rage these days. And there's plenty of evidence that this trend is continuing to gain steam.

- here's the press release