The alliance creates a unique drug discovery bridge between industry and academia, with Harvard scientists continuing their research toward development of new therapeutic modalities in clinical medicine. The strategy underlying the collaborative alliance is to advance ongoing Harvard research projects along the drug development pathway.
UCB is a global biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of innovative medicines for severe diseases of the immune system and the central nervous system (CNS).
"Harvard's world-class academic research is an excellent fit with UCB's world-class antibody research and central nervous system (CNS) pharmacology," said Ismail Kola, President of UCB New Medicines. "Both parties will learn from each other through the collaboration and a two-way exchange of ideas. Harvard will benefit from UCB's strengths and industry experience in drug discovery and development, while Harvard's exceptional research will complement UCB's internal expertise.''
The first research project funded under the alliance is a collaboration with Professor Gokhan S. Hotamisligil, M.D., Ph.D., Chair, Department of Genetics and Complex Diseases, Harvard School of Public Health, to generate and develop antibodies with potential application in a range of diseases including diabetes and metabolic disorders.
"Harvard has a deep and abiding commitment to collaborate with industry in ways that push the boundaries of translational research and seek to develop next generation therapies that will make a difference in the lives of patients,” said Isaac T. Kohlberg, Harvard's Chief Technology Development Officer and head of its Office of Technology Development. “Our collaboration with UCB is an ideal example of how we advance these goals."
UCB will bring its expertise in antibody generation and medicinal chemistry and provide up to $6 million over two years to fund specific innovative research projects led by Harvard scientists. The collaboration focuses on CNS and immunology, two key research domains for UCB.
UCB NewMedicines is UCB's research and early development division, from discovery research through to clinical Proof of Concept. UCB has 8,500 employees in more than 40 countries, with U.S. headquarters outside of Atlanta, Ga.