LONDON, July 22 A group of seven leading
drugmakers has agreed to share an array of neglected
experimental medicines with British academic researchers in the
latest example of the deepening ties between industry and
British business minister Vince Cable announced the new
partnership on Tuesday between the Medical Research Council
(MRC) and the companies, under which the researchers will gain
access to "deprioritised" pharmaceutical compounds.
Often these compounds have been dropped from development
because they are not sufficiently effective against a particular
condition, but they may still be useful against other diseases
with shared biological pathways.
AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson &
Johnson, Eli Lilly, Pfizer, Takeda
and UCB have all signed up to the scheme,
which builds on the success of an earlier two-way programme
between AstraZeneca and the MRC.
One project under that original 2011 programme involves a
drug designed originally to treat acid reflux disease that has
now been utilised as a treatment for chronic cough and is being
tested in clinical trials.
While drugmakers have traditionally been reluctant to share
their compounds, there is a growing recognition that outside
experts may be able to unlock value by taking a different
approach, resulting in shared profits between companies and
(Reporting by Ben Hirschler; Editing by David Goodman)