GSK plots new approach to working with academia

Pharma and biotech companies have long recognized academia as a rich source of innovative early research. In most cases companies cherry-pick the most promising projects and license them from the universities where they originated, ending academic involvement. But GlaxoSmithKline is adopting a new approach, says the Financial Times. The pharma plans to work closely with medical researchers over the entire decade-plus drug development process.

"We want a model that allows academics to work all the way through, getting a big reward if a medicine is launched and playing to their strengths," explains Patrick Vallance, senior vice-president for drug discovery and development at GSK. "They could go to biotechs, or publish papers, but if they want to make a medicine, we will partner for the endgame."

The first of GSK's partnership is with Professor Mark Pepys, head of medicine at the Royal Free and University College Medical School in London. Pepys' work focuses on designing a new treatment for a certain type of amyloidosis. Vallance says GSK plans to ink 10 such deals over the next year.

- read the Financial Times piece