GSK's Witty envisions new research ties to biotechs

Anxious to create a more innovative environment to develop new drugs, GlaxoSmithKline CEO Andrew Witty says the pharma giant is exploring ways to link its research facilities around the world to start-up biotech companies that can collaborate on new products.

"Startups could co-locate with us and create a new type of foundation for discovery," Witty told the International Association of Science Parks conference in Raleigh, home to one of the country's largest research centers. And he reiterated GSK's interest in small acquisitions and partnerships to provide a fresh jolt of new ideas for a company in bad need of good drug development programs.

Witty also underscored that the presence of large academic institutions staffed with top researchers won't be enough to woo companies like GSK in the future. Even more important, he says, is a pro-business attitude "to make the interface between industry and academia porous." 

- check out the report from the News & Observer