BOSTON and BRUSSELS, June 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- UCB and Harvard University will officially launch their innovative Research Alliance today during a signing ceremony to take place in Boston in the presence of his Royal Highness Prince Philippe of Belgium.
The Alliance creates a unique drug discovery bridge between industry and academia, with Harvard scientists continuing their research that holds potential for the 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.
"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 NewMedicines. "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 Harvard-UCB 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 against an exciting target with potential application in a range of diseases including diabetes and metabolic disorders.
"We couldn't be more pleased about entering into this innovative collaboration with UCB, which joins together leaders in academia and industry to advance pioneering research from the lab to the clinic," said Isaac T. Kohlberg, Harvard's Chief Technology Development Officer and head of its Office of Technology Development. "In furtherance of our mission to serve the public interest, 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. 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 into the alliance and will provide up to $6 million over two years to fund specific innovative research projects led by Harvard scientists. The collaboration focuses on central nervous system (CNS) and immunology, two key research domains for UCB.
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Notes to the editor
UCB, Brussels, Belgium (www.ucb.com) is a global biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of innovative medicines and solutions to transform the lives of people living with severe diseases of the immune system or of the central nervous system. With more than 8,500 people in more than 40 countries, the company generated revenue of euro 3.2 billion in 2010. UCB is listed on Euronext Brussels (symbol: UCB). The company's U.S. headquarters is located in Smyrna, Ga., a suburb of Atlanta.
About UCB NewMedicines
UCB NewMedicines is UCB's research and early development division, encompassing activities from discovery research through to clinical Proof of Concept. With scientific excellence and innovation at its core, UCB NewMedicines is focused on ensuring delivery of de-risked and differentiated molecules into full development. UCB NewMedicines™ is structured around two European 'research hubs', Braine-l'Alleud (Belgium) focusing on CNS diseases and Slough (U.K.) focusing on immunological disorders.
About Harvard University's Office of Technology Development
The Harvard Office of Technology Development (OTD) is responsible for all activities pertaining to the evaluation, patenting and licensing of new inventions and discoveries made at Harvard University and Harvard Medical School. OTD also serves to further the development of Harvard technologies through the establishment of sponsored research collaborations with industry. OTD's mission is to promote the public good by fostering innovation and translating new inventions made at Harvard into useful products available and beneficial to society.
Forward looking statement
This press release contains forward-looking statements based on current plans, estimates and beliefs of management. Such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to be materially different from those that may be implied by such forward-looking statements contained in this press release. Important factors that could result in such differences include: changes in general economic, business and competitive conditions, effects of future judicial decisions, changes in regulation, exchange rate fluctuations and hiring and retention of employees.
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