With pharmaceutical R&D efforts in decline, public-private partnerships are emerging as a way to bolster early stage discovery efforts. In Europe, concern over a dwindling antibiotic pipeline led to the European Commission’s Action Plan Against the Rising Threats from Antimicrobial Resistance, launched in November last year (see here). On May 24, 2012, AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline jointly announced the launch of funding for the initiative, to the tune of €224 million ($279 million), to enable development of antibiotics for bacterial infections. According to the press release, the proposed research program will initially focus on three key areas: the development of pipeline antibiotics, including compounds from GSK and AstraZeneca, information sharing, and continuing research and the discovery of new antibiotics.
Bristol-Myers Squibb announced its own public-private partnership, the International Immuno-Oncology Network, a collaboration between BMS and 10 cancer research institutes that aims to further the scientific understanding of immuno-oncology. The company hopes that the partnership will facilitate the translation of scientific research findings into clinical trials and, eventually, clinical practice, as well as advance innovation in drug discovery and development.
Recognizing the larger role that public-private partnerships are playing in today’s drug development environment, the 2012 BIO International Convention being held in Boston, MA from June 18-21 will be opening with a translational research forum. The forum, titled From Bench to Bedside in a Bioeconomy – Government, Industry and University Models to Catalyze Economic Growth and Patient Access, will explore how universities and their funding partners can move early stage research forward, and will provide specific examples of innovative university models which increase patient access to innovative products and spur economic growth. The keynote address will be given by Robert A. Brown, PhD, president of Boston University, and the forum will include speakers from industry, academia, and NIH.