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Boehringer crowdsources psychiatric research team

Collaboration with BioMed X aims to identify new treatment approaches
Boehringer Ingelheim

Boehringer Ingelheim has launched a new psychiatric disease research initiative, having teamed up with BioMed X once again to crowdsource the scientists involved.

The team of neuroscientists was identified by Boehringer and BioMed X via a crowdsourcing competition tasked with exploring the 'most promising solution approaches' to psychiatric diseases.

The project builds on an earlier collaboration between the two firms that saw Boehringer form a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease unit via a similar approach.

Clive Wood, corporate senior vice president and head of discovery research at Boehringer Ingelheim, said that the pharmaceutical company is “excited about applying the innovative approach of crowdsourcing to harness the creativity of the scientific community” in the pursuit of new therapies.

Working closely with Boehringer Ingelheim's internal research and development division, the collaborative group will conduct research into the development of a highly integrated brain microcircuit model with the intention of producing data to be used in drug discovery.

It will be based at BioMed X's Innovation Center on the campus of the University of Heidelberg, Germany, with Michał Ślęzak at its head.

Christian Tidona, founder and managing director of BioMed X, said: “With this new neuroscience research group our centre is growing to over 60 top researchers from around the world.

“We are excited about our strong partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim, which is driven by scientific excellence and mutual trust.”

Boehringer Ingelheim will sponsor the research project for two years, with the potential for extension, and the project comes in the wake of the firm's £11.8bn pledge to increase its emphasis on external collaborations.

Last year, Boehringer Ingelheim entered into a psychiatric diseases research partnership with Circuit Therapeutics, using optogenetics – a technique involving the control of neural activity with light – to explore new treatment options.

Article by
Rebecca Clifford

24th May 2016

From: Research

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