Biotechnology Focus

Biotechnology Focus February 2013

Biotechnology Focus is Canada's leading authority on Canada's life science news. From biopharma and healthcare to ag-bio and clean tech, our readership includes life science professionals, C-level executives and researchers.

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Spotlight centres, led by Canada's Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD), announced they have come together to form a new Global Alliance of Leading Drug Discovery and Development Centres. The aim of this alliance is to strengthen the international academic and/or not-for-profit drug development and commercialization network to ultimately improve the rate at which academic research is translated into new medicines. It will be a powerful vehicle in bringing organizations together, leveraging one another's strengths, and ultimately making for a much more effective global translational research environment. Through it, member organizations will collaborate on mutuallybeneficial projects, share best practices, expertise and resources, and develop common standards and performance measurements – ultimately working together to improve the conversion of global early-stage technology into much needed therapies. Karimah Es Sabar, president and CEO of CDRD, and the founding chair of the Global Alliance commented, "One of the most important things all the member organizations share is the realization that none of us will be able to fully achieve our goals by working in isolation. With the signing of a groundbreaking agreement, we are officially declaring the launch of the Alliance – a new means to break down borders, share best practices, expertise and resources," she said. "It will allow us to share rather than duplicate, collaborate rather than compete, strengthen the international academic and drug development and commercialization network, and capitalize on new global opportunities." The founding organizations include: The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD), Canada; the Lead Discovery Center (LDC), Germany; the Scripps Research Institute, Scripps Florida, United States; the Centre for Drug Design and Discovery (CD3), KU Leuven R&D, Belgium; Medical Research Council Technology (MRC-T), United Kingdom; and Cancer Research Technology, United Kingdom. All member organizations are fully-integrated translational centres capable of professionally advancing drug discovery projects along the value chain from idea to drug candidate with proof-of-concept. Together, they represent close to 400 experienced drug developers collaborating with tens of thousands of academic scientists around the globe on over 165 highly innovative therapeutic projects targeting significant unmet medical needs. For the biopharmaceutical industry, they represent a major source of innovation. Numerous alliances with many of the industry's leading global companies have already been established to develop resulting drug candidates further and ultimately make them available to patients. Dr. Keith Blundy, Cancer Research Technology's chief executive said, "Cancer Research Technology develops the basic research funded by Cancer Research UK through drug discovery to early clinical development in partnership with global pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and its own CRT Pioneer Fund and Cancer Research UK's Drug Development Office. CRT will potentially make available these resources to the Alliance, but initially the focus is on knowledge and expertise sharing with cooperative projects to follow as a second phase. It is expected that the combined scale of the Alliance will allow it to attract funding to undertake new drug discovery activities with both industry and public funders." Dr. Bert Klebl, managing director and chief scientific officer of the Lead Discovery Centre (affiliated with the Max Planck Institutes in Germany) added, "This Alliance of outstanding drug discovery centres will help us to accelerate the translation of academic results into new therapies around the globe. By joining forces and sharing complementary expertise and infrastructure, we will be even more effective in closing the gap between basic research and industry to the benefit of patients." Karimah Es Sabar concluded, "These organizations are the pioneers that have already well-established and proven their ability to deliver on our common goal of identifying the most innovative and promising discoveries in academia, and validating and developing them to a stage at which they have a clear commercial pathway in front of them, and are ready to be transitioned to the private sector which is then responsible for taking them to market. What they have all been able to accomplish to date is incredibly impressive; and we at CDRD are very proud to now be partners with each of them." For additional information on the Global Alliance of Leading Drug Discovery and Development Centres, please visit: www.drugdevelopmentalliance.org "One of the most important things all the member organizations share is the realization that none of us will be able to fully achieve our goals by working in isolation. With the signing of a groundbreaking agreement, we are officially declaring the launch of the Alliance – a new means to break down borders, share best practices, expertise and resources." — Karimah Es Sabar, president and CEO of CDRD, and the founding chair of the Global Alliance To see this story online visit http://biotechnologyfocus.ca/ canada-leads-the-way-inbringing-the-translationalresearch-world-together/ February 2013 BIOTECHNOLOGY FOCUS 25

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