In US, drug companies such as Pfizer Inc., Astra Zeneca PLC and Eli Lilly and Co. are teaming up with some of the nation’s top universities by signing agreements with schools such as New York University, Harvard and the University of California at San Francisco, in order to achieve big drug discovery.
The pharma companies are recruiting campus scientists as partners and offering multimillion-dollar deals to work on experimental drugs in development. Pharma companies are benefited mainly due to scientist’s innovation from universities. This change took place mainly because of the expiration of patents for name-brand drugs as Seroquel, Lipitor and Protonix, which accounted for nearly $36 billion in U.S. sales in 2011 and 2012, and also to generate new revenue for the drug makers in order to compensate the diminished profits from drugs, according to the industry experts.
The new collaboration has forced the scientists to spend more time on research and less on paperwork, according to Jeffrey Bluestone, an executive Vice Chancellor and Provost. For example, the university’s Center for Therapeutic Innovation creates an open network of researchers who not only focuses on specific projects, but also on the drugs that are initially cultivated in campus labs on behalf of drug manufacturers.
Out of 10 prospective drugs in clinical trials from 2003 to 2010, only 1 drug has received approval from the federal Food and Drug Administration, which is considered as a low success rate of drugs that are still in the experimental phase, according to a research report given by Biotechnology Industry Organization in 2011.
Pfizer, a drug manufacturing company in New York, is continuing to fund its five initial research projects with the Washington university, but is also planning to have a partnership of $85 million for five-years with the University of California at San Francisco, where two dozen Pfizer scientists will practically work along with the scientists of the university with around 20,000-square-foot building.
In addition, Pfizer has entered into similar research partnerships with the University of California at San Diego, Boston University, Harvard, Tufts, the University of Massachusetts and seven academic medical centres in New York City.
Harvard University also has a research deal with French manufacturer Sanofi-Aventis and Belgian drug maker UCB. The University of Pennsylvania has an agreement with Astra Zeneca PLC.
Gilead Sciences Inc., a California company that sells HIV treatments such as Atripla and Truvada is having a multiyear collaboration with the Yale School of Medicine.