University of Cambridge launches Open Innovation drug discovery initiative with GSK

Pills

The University of Cambridge is embarking on a programme of scientific open collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) that will involve working alongside GSK scientists and other partner organisations, to advance drug discovery and the development of new medicines.

“This is a highly innovative way to develop publicly funded scientific research to create new medicines to treat disease, bringing together partners with shared goals and capitalising on what each does best.” — Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, Vice-Chancellor

Researchers will be based at Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst, the UK’s first open innovation bioscience campus, co-located with GSK’s Research and Development centre. This bioscience park provides an independent scientific community allowing scientists to foster relationships across organisations and share their expertise and knowledge.

Small teams of Cambridge scientists will bring their world-leading medical and biological research to this open innovation environment and have already committed to working alongside GSK drug development experts who will provide access to their drug discovery and development expertise.

Cambridge Enterprise, the University’s commercialisation arm, will facilitate the programme. A key element of the open innovation environment fostered through the bioscience park is enabling scientific exchange to flourish without the need for exclusive research collaboration agreements between partners, including GSK. The open innovation model allows Cambridge scientists to freely interact with other pharmaceutical biotech, contract research organisations, SBC tenants and academic institutions.

Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge said: “This is a highly innovative way to develop publicly funded scientific research to create new medicines to treat disease, bringing together partners with shared goals and capitalising on what each does best. Cambridge is constantly searching for new and more effective ways to get its research out into the world where it can make a difference; working with our many partners, including companies such as GSK.”

Patrick Vallance, President of Pharmaceuticals R&D at GlaxoSmithKline, said: “This open innovation approach is enabling scientists who might not ordinarily have interacted to build relationships, share ideas and seek advice. This environment provides us with an opportunity to stimulate research and translate science into the discovery of new medicines for patients. The bioscience park’s co-location with our R&D centre gives us a unique opportunity to work alongside the University of Cambridge to strengthen the UK’s bioscience ecosystem.”

The University looks forward to working alongside other academic institutions at SBC, who will also benefit from this groundbreaking approach to early-stage drug discovery.

Photo credit: Pills 3, by e-MagineArt.com via flickr