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Sanford-Burnham and Daiichi Sankyo form alliance to study novel drug targets

Orlando, Fla., U.S., and Tokyo, Japan(May 21, 2014) Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (Sanford-Burnham) and Daiichi Sankyo Co., Ltd. (Daiichi Sankyo) today announced they have entered into a three-year comprehensive alliance to develop first-in-class therapeutics for the treatment of cardiovascular-metabolic diseases. The collaboration is built on an open-innovation model to bridge the gap between target discovery and pre-clinical drug development.

This collaboration focuses on identifying, validating, and screening novel drug targets, and studying new mechanisms of disease. The Sanford-Burnham team will identify and validate targets in collaboration with Cardiovascular-Metabolics Research Laboratories at Daiichi Sankyo. After the validation of the targets, collaboration teams will conduct drug screening to identify compounds that modulate the targets using facilities at both sites.

"The partnership will focus on the broad area of cardiovascular-metabolic diseases, which is a primary research area for Sanford-Burnham as well as a critical unmet medical need worldwide," said Dwight Towler, M.D., Ph.D., professor and director of the Cardiovascular Pathobiology Program at Sanford-Burnham. "Strategic partnerships such as this one serve as a key component of our Institute's 10-year vision to translate basic research discoveries into innovative therapies more quickly. Today's announcement represents another milestone for Sanford-Burnham as we connect our expertise in both basic research and drug discovery technology with pharmaceutical partners to implement this patient-oriented initiative."

"This is a unique and innovative early-stage drug discovery collaboration," said Dr. Masahiko Ohtsuki, Corporate Officer and Global Head of Research, Daiichi Sankyo. "The cardiovascular-metabolic area is a key priority for Daiichi Sankyo and we have found a strong, strategic partner in Sanford-Burnham. I am excited about this collaboration and look forward to seeing results of this partnership."

Contact: Patrick Bartosch
Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute

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