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BMS creates US academic tie-up to foster biopharma research

Partnership with investment firm could also boost its pipeline
Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS)

Bristol-Myers Squibb is attempting to foster US academic research - and boost its pipeline - by forming a new enterprise to convert biopharma discoveries into development candidates.

BMS has teamed up with Boston-based science and technology investment firm Allied Minds to create a jointly-owned venture named Allied-Bristol Life Sciences - although the companies are tight-lipped about how much they are investing.

Allied Minds CEO Chris Silva said: “The innovations developed in US research institutions represent an important resource for scientific advancement, as well as economic development and financial returns.”

The idea is to work with university researchers to identify their best discoveries and then offer financial support to get them from the page into pre-clinical trials - the hope then is that some of the candidates make it through to market.

It is billed as a complementary partnership, with BMS offering drug discovery muscle and the investment firm adding financial and management experience.

Once a pre-clinical candidate presents itself, BMS will have the option to acquire it from Allied-Bristol Life Sciences “under pre-agreed terms”.

Carl Decicco, BMS head of discovery, said: “Allied-Bristol Life Sciences brings together cutting-edge ideas, biopharma experience and drug discovery expertise focused on maximising the potential of new scientific approaches to addressing serious disease.

“We believe this new venture will enhance the translation of early-stage academic research and will ultimately help advance important potential new medicines more efficiently.”

Formed in 2006, Allied Minds works with 33 universities and a similar number of federal research centres run by the departments of defence and energy.

Academic institutions are seen as a potential goldmine for pharma, offering the chance to tap into the minds of the best and brightest researchers in a bid to uncover new medicines.

In the UK, for instance, the launch of MedCity earlier this year was aimed squarely at creating a 'golden triangle' of medical research and translation expertise between London, Oxford and Cambridge.

Article by
Adam Hill

5th August 2014

From: Research

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