UCSF-CTSI and MedImmune Make Notable Academic-Pharma Alliance List

By Emily Mullin via FierceBiotech

In an era of cutbacks in basic research by Big Pharma, companies are increasingly relying on academic and nonprofit collaborations for basic science and drug discovery research as output and productivity in the industry are declining.

Meanwhile, for academic researchers, these alliances are becoming just as crucial at a time when funding from the U.S. National Institutes of Health--the world's biggest backer of biomedical research--remains tight. It's a symbiotic relationship that we'll likely continue to see for the foreseeable future as Big Pharma's pipeline dries up and federal R&D spending remains static.

The year isn't over yet, but already some big players have formed some notable unions in 2014. Check out the shortlist of collaborations that we've highlighted below.
3. UCSF and MedImmune

Partner: University of California, San Francisco
Company: MedImmune
Date: Feb. 12

As a leading biomedical institute, the University of California, San Francisco, is an attractive partner for Big Pharma. Last year, Pfizer ($PFE) struck a deal with UCSF, and this year AstraZeneca's ($AZN) MedImmune followed suit.

Under a three-year agreement, MedImmune will work with UCSF's Clinical and Translational Science Institute to support the university's Catalyst Awards program, which is designed to help UCSF scientists move their research out of the lab and into product development.

Specifically, MedImmune is seeking promising research proposals in the therapeutic areas of cardiovascular and metabolic disease, oncology, respiratory, inflammation and autoimmunity, neuroscience and infectious diseases. AstraZeneca said the collaboration will build on its existing small-molecule portfolios.

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