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GlaxoSmithKline and the University of Edinburgh Agree to Collaborative Partnership for Drug Discovery

EDINBURGH, Scotland, Oct. 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and the University of Edinburgh have agreed on a collaborative partnership to discover and develop medicines with the potential to treat severe acute pancreatitis.

The alliance will build on work by university researchers that recently uncovered a molecular mechanism believed to have a major role in triggering life-threatening multiple organ failure. The collaboration will integrate the deep biology and disease understanding of the academic group led by Damian Mole and Dr. Scott Webster of the University's College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine with GSK's expertise in drug discovery and development.

"Despite treatment for severe acute pancreatitis, up to a quarter of people affected will die from an attack. By teaming up with GSK, we have the opportunity to turn our science into a medicine," said Mole. Webster added, "This is a great example of translating academic research. The alliance brings together our collective expertise in target biology and drug discovery to tackle an enormous unmet medical need."

Work on the project will be carried out both within GSK and at the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine located at the Edinburgh BioQuarter (, Scotland's flagship life sciences development.

Under the terms negotiated by the BioQuarter, the University will receive success-based financial support from GSK linked to reaching agreed milestones, as well as an undisclosed upfront payment and royalties on sales from any product that is successfully commercialized out of the collaboration.

This alliance comes through GSK's Discovery Partnerships with Academia (DPAc) team, a recently formed group designed to bring together the complementary skill sets of GSK and individual academic groups in the search for innovative medicines.

Dr. Diane Harbison, Head of Business Development at Edinburgh BioQuarter, said: "This collaborative partnership with a world-leader in drug discovery demonstrates the strength and depth of research being conducted here in Edinburgh. We are delighted to have been selected as one of just ten DPAc projects being awarded globally by GlaxoSmithKline."

About Edinburgh BioQuarter

At the heart of Scottish life sciences, Edinburgh BioQuarter is a joint venture between Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc, the NHS, the University of Edinburgh and Scottish Enterprise. Edinburgh BioQuarter commercializes world-leading medical research and brings investors, ideas and companies together at the BioQuarter campus on the outskirts of Edinburgh. For more information, visit

SOURCE Edinburgh BioQuarter
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