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Elan partners with university on biotech leadership programme

Will help fund programme to develop the next generation of biotech business leaders

Elan will partner with the University College Dublin (UCD) on an initiative to stimulate business innovation in the biotechnology industry.

The pharma company will donate around €3m to UCD, part of which will go towards establishing a chair in the Business of Biotechnology.

This will bring together efforts from the university's schools for business and science, with both disciplines combining to prepare leaders to make effective decisions with knowledge of both the business environment as well as any medical and scientific considerations.

Elan's CEO Kelly Martin explained that changes in the biotech environment required increasing demands from managers, which the programme would aim to address.

He said: "Business leaders will need to balance complex and multi-dimensional considerations such as patient requirements and personalised medicine which needs to take into account genetic markers and scientific discovery that can be accelerated by advancing approaches to drug discovery.

“The effective management of complex regulatory and legal frameworks, along with global pricing and reimbursement will also be a prerequisite to success."

The deal is Elan's second partnership with a university in recent weeks, following the launch of a research centre with Cambridge University to investigate treatments for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.

The new programme will last seven years and involve a series of lectures on business in the biotech industry.

Hugh Brady, president of UCD, said the university hopes to be a “leader” in future developments in the biotech industry.

He said: “[O]ur goal is to help create leading edged approaches to the management and participation in the 'science process' which is the fundamental foundation to long-term success of the biotechnology sector.”

Elan will also fund two post-doctoral scholarships and part of its €3m contribution will go towards the completion of UCD's soon to be finished science centre.

14th December 2011

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