CAMBRIDGE, Mass.  – Whitehead Institute today announced it has entered into a scientific research collaboration with Biogen Idec (NASDAQ:BIIB) aimed at driving early stage research that may lead to the development of novel therapies across a broad range of disease areas.

The agreement calls for Biogen Idec to provide $5.25 million over the next three years to support research projects led by Whitehead Institute principal investigators. A joint committee of Whitehead and Biogen Idec scientists will determine the research projects to be funded under the agreement. These pioneering programs will primarily focus on improving human health through basic biomedical research in the areas of immunology, neurology, developmental biology, genetics and genomics.

"Whitehead Institute and Biogen Idec share a commitment to the role of fundamental research in improving human health," said Whitehead Institute director David Page. "This agreement will enable the launch of research projects at a level that might not attract funding from more traditional sources. It's extraordinary that a biotech partner is helping  to pursue this sort of research, and it is truly refreshing to know that leadership at Biogen Idec embraces these values as we do."

Core to the agreement is that Whitehead Institute researchers will be paired with counterparts from Biogen Idec, developing integrated and collaborative programs from the outset of each engagement.  

"We are excited for this opportunity to work with one of the premiere research institutions in the world to pioneer novel research, " said Spyros Artavanis-Tsakonas, Chief Scientific Officer at Biogen Idec. "This collaboration demonstrates our joint commitment to finding ways to better understand the underlying biology of complex diseases, focusing on innovative initiatives where together we can drive new insights through cutting-edge research."


About Whitehead Institute

Whitehead Institute is a world-renowned non-profit research institution dedicated to improving human health through basic biomedical research. Wholly independent in its governance, finances, and research programs, Whitehead shares a close affiliation with Massachusetts Institute of Technology through its faculty, who hold joint MIT appointments.

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