LONDON (Reuters) – A group of seven leading drugmakers has agreed to share an array of neglected experimental medicines with British academic researchers in the latest example of the deepening ties between industry & external scientists.
British business minister Vince Cable announced the new partnership on Tuesday between the Medical Research Council (MRC) & the companies, under which the researchers will gain access to "deprioritized" pharmaceutical compounds.
Often these compounds have been dropped from development because they are not sufficiently effective against a particular condition, yet they may still be useful against other diseases with shared biological pathways.
p> AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Eli Lilly, Pfizer, Takeda & UCB have all signed up to the scheme, which builds on the success of an earlier two-way program between AstraZeneca & the MRC.
One project under that original 2011 program involves a drug designed originally to treat acid reflux disease that has now been utilized as a treatment for chronic cough & is being tested in clinical trials.
While drugmakers have traditionally been reluctant to share their compounds, there is a growing recognition that outside experts may be able to unlock value by taking a different approach, resulting in shared profits between companies & academic institutions.
(Reporting by Ben Hirschler; Editing by David Goodman)
Pharmaceuticals & Drug TrialsMedical Research Council