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The University of Manchester and GSK strike new research alliance

07 Jul 2008

Pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline and The University of Manchester have agreed a new research alliance that will help meet the challenge of accelerating translational research efforts within each organisation.

The framework will define how scientists and physicians from both parties will work together to identify new research avenues, collaborate in efforts to better understand a variety of disease areas and support drug discovery within the UK.

It will focus on research methodologies such as systems biology and biomedical imaging, and treatment areas such as respiratory disease and inflammation processes. It also brings together two major research organisations with the allied aim of achieving excellence in translational or ‘lab bench to bedside’ medical research.

The alliance is an opportunity to formalise and enhance an already strong research relationship: the University has a notable collaborative history with GSK through links with leading University researchers such as Professors Doug Kell, Ashley Woodcock, David Ray, Alistair Burns, Karl Herholz and Brian Houston. It is anticipated that the new framework will boost the benefits of this relationship.

The alliance is also expected to provide shared opportunities in the exchange of ideas and methodologies and staff secondment, and result in a combined approach to research funding bids. It will have a direct impact on the drug discovery process, identifying areas of pre-competitive research of importance to the entire UK pharmaceutical industry and securing the UK science base

University Vice-President and Dean of the Faculty of Medical & Human Sciences and Faculty of Life Sciences, Professor Alan North, said “Forming an alliance with a world-class company such as GSK will undoubtedly benefit the already outstanding biomedical research base within Manchester.

“A mutually supportive framework like this will not only give GSK access to University expertise and facilities in a number of key research fields, but will also be tremendously valuable in helping to develop more research breakthroughs from the lab bench for the direct benefit of patients.”

GSK Senior Vice President for Discovery Research, Patrick Valliance, said: “GSK is very excited by the opportunity to formalise links with The University of Manchester which has invested heavily in its scientific capabilities in recent years. It is now a world-class institution, with first-rate biomedical science capabilities of the calibre that GSK welcomes forming an alliance with.”

Ends

Notes for editors

The University of Manchester (www.manchester.ac.uk) is the largest higher education institution in the country, with 24 academic schools and over 36 000 students.  Its Faculty of Medical & Human Sciences (www.mhs.manchester.ac.uk) is one of the largest faculties of clinical and health sciences in Europe, with a research income of around £51 million (almost a third of the University's total research income). There are 7,600 undergraduate students and 1,600 postgraduates on award-bearing courses. More students graduate each year from the School of Medicine than from any other medical school in the UK. There is a strong organisational capability for undertaking cross-faculty teaching and research activity in partnership with the public sector and industry. Excellent links also exist with the NHS in terms of undertaking pioneering medical and clinically based research. The Faculty is a key stakeholder in the Greater Manchester Research Alliance.

GlaxoSmithKline — one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies — is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer. For further information, visit GlaxoSmithKline’s website at www.gsk.com

For further information contact:

Aeron Haworth

Media Officer

Faculty of Medical & Human Sciences

The University of Manchester

Tel: 0161 275 8383

Email: aeron.haworth@manchester.ac.uk

Pauline Page

Science Communications

GSK

Tel: 01438 764521

Email: pauline.a.page@gsk.com