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Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center partners with GlaxoSmithKline to develop muscular dystrophy therapeutics
Date:12/10/2012

nlike traditional licensing agreements in which the licensee is given full control to develop a discovery, the collaboration will involve GSK and Fred Hutch scientists working together to develop, test and hopefully bring to market a clinical treatment.

"GSK has huge expertise in developing agents against protein activity, so our opportunity to work with them is fantastic," Tapscott said.

"At GSK we believe that combining our drug-discovery expertise with the in-depth disease knowledge of specialist academic groups can seed innovation and help speed up the discovery and development of new medicines," said Pearl Huang, global head of DPAc. "We're excited to be expanding our academic program in North America and are looking forward to working closely with scientists like Dr. Tapscott, whose deep understanding of disease biology will complement our own work in this field."

FSHD affects about one in 20,000 individuals and usually begins in late adolescence. The effects start around the facial and upper-extremity muscles and eventually progress to muscles in the lower extremity. People with more severe FSHD become wheelchair bound and their life spans are often shortened.

In an era of flat federal research funding, this collaboration signals an increasing interest on the part of Fred Hutch to develop partnerships that further its lifesaving and innovative research.

"We're looking for more creative academic-industry partnerships like this one between Fred Hutch and GSK," said Ulrich Mueller, vice president of industry relations and technology transfer at Fred Hutch.

Tapscott's research on FSHD, which provides the scientific basis for the collaboration with GSK, was funded by Friends of FSH Research, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.

Financial terms of the Fred Hutch-GSK partnership were not disclosed.

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Contact: Dean Forbes
dforbes@fhcrc.org
206-667-2896
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Source:Eurekalert

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