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UCSF enters drug discovery agreement with Genentech
Date:2/18/2010

The University of California, San Francisco has signed a partnership agreement with Genentech, Inc., a wholly owned member of the Roche Group, to discover and develop drug candidates for neurodegenerative diseases.

Through the agreement, Genentech will provide funding and its research acumen in neuroscience and will collaborate with UCSF to identify small molecules.

Genentech will support the work of several researchers at the UCSF Small Molecule Discovery Center (SMDC), which is administered by the UCSF School of Pharmacy and located in the California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences (QB3) on the UCSF Mission Bay campus. A research team at Genentech will work closely with UCSF to develop a drug candidate based on prior academic research conducted at the SMDC and discoveries at Genentech.

In addition to receiving financial support from Genentech for its research function, UCSF has the potential for further funding in excess of $13 million, if certain development and commercial milestones are met, plus royalties.

This is the first major collaboration the SMDC has formed with an industry partner, according to Jim Wells, PhD, who founded the center in 2005 and serves as its director. Wells and the center's associate directors Adam Renslo, PhD, and Michelle Arkin, PhD will lead the project in collaboration with the Genentech team.

"What is transformative about this agreement from the University's perspective is that it is a true collaboration between UCSF and Genentech scientists with the intent to generate drug candidates. This is different from a standard out-license or simple research collaboration," said Wells, who is also chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry in the UCSF School of Pharmacy and a faculty affiliate of QB3.

"Finding targeted compounds is a major obstacle in the drug discovery process, in part because most academic researchers don't have access to this type of facility,"
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Contact: Kristen Bole
kbole@pubaff.ucsf.edu
415-476-2557
University of California - San Francisco
Source:Eurekalert

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