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UCB forms alliance with Harvard

UCB is to collaborate with Harvard University on the research of therapies for conditions related to the central nervous system and immunology

UCB is to collaborate with Harvard University on the research of therapies for conditions related to the central nervous system and immunology.

The Belgium-based biopharma company will provide Harvard scientists with up to $6m over two years to fund innovative research projects in the specialist areas.

Expertise in antibody generation and medicinal chemistry will also be provided by UCB.

The company said it aims to 'capitalise' on external scientific research, with the collaboration intended as a 'two-way exchange of knowledge and expertise' to help develop new drugs, according to Ismail Kola, president of UCB NewMedicines.

The first project to receive funding from the collaboration is a study looking at developing antibodies against a specific target with implications for diabetes and metabolic disorders. It is led by Professor Gökhan S Hotamisligil, Department of Genetics and Complex Diseases, Harvard School of Public Health.

Regular meetings will be held between the university and UCB to decide what future projects to fund.

Isaac T Kohlberg, chief technology development officer at Harvard, was positive about the potential benefits for the university from the collaboration: "It exemplifies Harvard's growing commitment to collaborate with industry in creative ways that will advance the boundaries of translational research, thereby realising our core mission to serve the public interest."

The announcement follows a collaboration between sanofi-aventis and Harvard focusing on translational biomedical research in therapeutic areas, including cancer and diabetes.

28th February 2011

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