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Drug Discovery Collaborations between Academia and the Pharmaceutical Industry

Cultural factors, intellectual property considerations, case studies, and future trends
Published by Business Insights
Format: PDF, Print
Publication Date: July 2010

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The pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industries are engaged in a business environment which is witnessing a dramatic escalation of R&D costs, key patent expiries, and sustained high attrition rates for new molecules in development.

In response, pharmaceutical companies have recognized the need to expand the range of creative stimuli for their research processes in order to reinvigorate their drug discovery pipelines. Consequently the industry has sought to develop external collaborations not only with other companies but also more frequently with academia, to obtain access to new technologies to enhance their drug discovery capabilities and to in-license candidates for further development. Indeed, collaboration is becoming an essential component of today’s drug discovery efforts and it is commonly undertaken with multiple partners through an often iterative, continuous, and long lasting process, which adds to the complexity of efficiently managing both the collaboration itself and the data generated.

This report explores the opportunities and challenges that are presented by collaboration with university researchers as well as identifying the key inputs from both the industrial and academic partners. The different organizational cultures and structures are examined along with consideration of the goals for each institution and the issues these create.  The report discusses the various types of agreement which can be used, highlights legislation of importance to the appropriate protection of intellectual property, and presents case studies of notable collaborations. In addition the report offers thoughts on the future for collaborative agreements and the benefits they will bring to both parties.

Key features of the report

  • Describes the different types of collaboration between academia and the pharmaceutical/biopharmaceutical industries, the cultural issues and organizational conflicts presented by these forms of collaborations, and the management processes required to overcome these challenges.
  • Reviews the international and national legislation governing the intellectual property rights for owners of the technology (the university) and the technology transfer partner that will exploit the technology (the pharmaceutical industry).
  • Identifies a variety of different collaborative agreements and groups these into two main categories.
  • Provides a number of case studies illustrating the important features of these collaborations, the practical implications and complexity of the agreements reached, and the pitfalls encountered in some cases.
  • Focuses on the evolving nature of collaborations between the pharmaceutical industry and academic institutions, developing the emerging themes and exploring the opportunities for drug discovery using novel collaborative models and approaches.

Key benefits of the report

  • Provides the executive with an insight into the complex nature of the issues and challenges facing both academia and the industry when establishing the terms and conditions of any collaborative agreement together with the problems associated with the differences in management styles and cultures of individual parties in the collaboration.
  • Describes the methods used to identify a suitable collaboration candidate and helps the reader to understand the factors that affect partner selection and the dynamics of the resulting network.
  • Highlights the problems associated with knowledge and technology transfer between collaborating partners as well as the common challenges to be overcome before companies are able to exploit the new technologies.
  • Identifies and describes the various emerging quasi institutions, such as research clusters, that take advantage of developments in communication technologies.
  • Provides an insight into the future of academic-industry collaborations and the importance that information and communication technologies is having on the development of the next generation of collaborative partnerships.

Key questions answered by this report

  • What are the key drivers influencing change to a more collaborative approach to R&D in the pharmaceutical industry?
  • What are the latest developments in the collaborative approach to R&D and which models represent the best opportunities for the pharmaceutical industry.
  • What are the issues and concerns over the evolving collaborative R&D paradigms?
  • What are the intellectual property management issues that should be considered by each party?
  • Which changes in patent legislation are of greatest relevance to the formation of collaborations in different countries?
  • What are the different types of academia-industry collaborations?
  • What are the pros and cons for each party in academia-industry collaborations?
  • What are the critical success factors for academia-industry collaborations?
  • What are the main factors to take into account when negotiating academia-industry collaborations?
  • What are the cultural, change management and goal alignment challenges?
  • What are the future directions for academia-industry collaborations?
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