Lundbeck launches new research and development strategy

With a new strategy for research and development activities, Lundbeck is now laying the foundation for future groundbreaking drugs. As a result of the strategy Lundbeck will increase the scope of external collaboration and adjust the company's areas of research and research staff - a move that is expected to entail staff reductions.

H. Lundbeck A / S (Lundbeck) is now implementing a new research and development strategy that will - also in future - enable the company to deliver breakthrough drugs capable of improving the lives of patients with brain diseases. The strategy will bolster Lundbeck's ambition to remain among the world's foremost pharmaceutical companies in the treatment of brain diseases.

With the new approach, Lundbeck's future research and development activities will be increasingly based on the relationships between the biology of a disease and its symptoms.

New knowledge of brain biology
Over the last few years, research throughout the world has generated new knowledge about disease biology and about the biological relationships and mechanisms that are believed to be the fundamental causes of many brain diseases. This research makes it possible to develop drugs that affect the underlying mechanisms of a disease, and thus not only treat symptoms more effectively but also alter the course of the disease.

The new strategy will provide a future platform from which Lundbeck can discover and develop drugs with clearly documented effects on biologically defined patient groups. It is expected that society's demand for this new type of drugs will increase.

- The new strategy will enable us to meet society's growing demand for innovative drugs. This strategy provides Lundbeck with the most efficient platform for the future discovery and development of drugs that will be able to help and treat biologically defined groups of patients with brain diseases. It is precisely such drugs that we expect will be in demand in the future, says Peter Høngaard Andersen, Executive Vice President, Research, at Lundbeck.

Lundbeck's research will in future concentrate on three main areas of biology: neurodegeneration, neuroinflammation and synaptic transmission. These areas are relevant to a wide range of brain disorders, including depression, schizophrenia, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and Huntington's diseases. New treatment possibilities are needed for all of these diseases, and Lundbeck efforts can thus make a major difference for patients.

More partnerships
The second key element in Lundbeck's new research and development strategy is increased external cooperation through even more partnerships, worldwide, with researchers at academic institutions, colleges, universities and other biotech and pharmaceutical companies.

Lundbeck has for many years focused on establishing partnerships with leading experts in order to gain access to the latest knowledge, and to combine this with the company's special expertise and experience in discovering and developing drugs to combat brain diseases. Now these partnerships will receive even higher priority, so Lundbeck will gain the best possible access to the latest discoveries in fields relevant to the company's research and development activities.

The increased scope of external collaboration will also allow Lundbeck to concentrate on those areas of research and development that create most value.

- For many years, we have benefited greatly by entering into partnerships with other experts who complement our own skills. Such partnerships make drug development more efficient, and we therefore expect to engage in even more of these activities in the future, explains Peter Høngaard Andersen.

Strategic adjustment
As the new biological focus will require different staff competencies, the new strategy will result in Lundbeck adjusting its areas of research and research organization. At the same time, the decision to increase external collaborations will mean that investments in these collaborations will increase.

Lundbeck is thus reorganizing activities at its two research centres in Denmark and the USA. Lundbeck expects that this strategic adjustment will mean that the company must eliminate approximately 50 positions. Overall, Lundbeck's investments in research and development will not be reduced, but a greater proportion of the investments will be placed outside the company.

Focus on brain diseases
Lundbeck will maintain its focus on brain diseases with the new research and development strategy. The company is one of the few pharmaceutical companies in the world that is clearly specialized in discovering, developing, manufacturing and marketing drugs for the treatment of brain diseases.

Lundbeck is now among the world's leading pharmaceutical companies in its field and has no fewer than 11 potential new drugs in late-stage clinical development. The company also markets some of the world's most widely used medicines in the treatment of depression and Alzheimer's disease.

Diseases of the brain are among the world's most debilitating and incur some of the highest societal costs.  Many brain diseases, including depression and Alzheimer's disease, are expected to be even more widespread in future - a development that underscores the need for new and better treatment possibilities.