This is a favorite topic of mine. I'm a big believer that private-public institution collaborations are good for both areas. Each has unique skills and perspectives to bring to these arrangments and the ones that work well are enriching for both parties on a number of levels. Fortunately, there have been quite a number of these collaborations announced in past few months. So let's recap for those who'd like to keep score.
Genentech announced an agreement with UCSF to collaborate on neurodegenerative disease research.
The Italian Institute of Technology's Drug Discovery and Development (D3) Unit opened with an announcment that Roche and other pharma companies will be collaborating on new drugs.
The Open Source Drug Discovery project is combining efforts of top researchers, students and IT giants to find new therapies to combat TB.
Then in early may Sanofi-Aventis announced that it would be joining the Massachuesetts Life Science Center that will give it early access to new drug therapies.
Pfizer and Washington University announced a new 5 yr agreement where the Univeristy will look at up to 500 Pfizer compounds to determine if they can find new applications as reported in Fierce Biotech.
Finally, Bayer announced it will be moving into the Biotech Innovation Center near UCSF's Mission Bay Campus. This will be a collaboration with university researchers to look a indications in hematology, cardiology, oncology and women's health.
Many of these new relationships seem to be in response to the R&D issues we've seen in Big Pharma. I think companies are trying newer approaches and largely are being met with open arms by public institutions who welcome the research investment and job creation.
It is good potentially for both parties and hopefully will lead to significant new treatments for patients.
Posted by Bruce Lehr May 19th 2010.