Industry-Sponsored Research Week

U Michigan inks $10 million drug discovery partnership with Sun Pharma


By David Schwartz
Published: January 14th, 2020

The University of Michigan and Sun Pharma Advanced Research Company (SPARC) have launched a partnership to accelerate the development of potential new medicines for a wide range of diseases. Under the agreement, Sun Pharma will provide up to a total of $10 million in financial support and in-kind industry resources to move various promising drug-discovery research projects within the university toward the ultimate goal of new therapies for patients.

Working with Michigan Drug Discovery, SPARC will support projects from across U-M’s broad research enterprise, with a focus on early stage translational therapeutic work in the areas of oncology, neurodegeneration, inflammation, dermatology, and ophthalmology. Michigan Drug Discovery is a university-wide collaboration that provides funding and mentoring for U-M faculty members’ drug discovery projects.

“This new partnership will greatly enhance the suite of opportunities available to campus researchers through Michigan Drug Discovery,” said Peter Toogood, director of Michigan Drug Discovery. “With this new funding, research support and drug development expertise from SPARC, U-M is strongly positioned to help its researchers advance their discoveries toward marketable medicines and technologies to improve human health,” he added.

The partnership has the potential to maximize the impact of the two organizations’ strengths, noted Roger Cone, a member of the Michigan Drug Discovery executive committee and director of the U-M Life Sciences Institute, which oversees Michigan Drug Discovery.

“Major research universities like U-M have enormous expertise in the biology and fundamental research that pharmaceutical companies seek, and the pharmaceutical industry has the large-scale chemistry resources needed to turn new discoveries into marketable drugs,” he said. “This alliance helps bridge a major gap in the path from the research bench to clinics and patients.”

Each selected project could receive up to $1.5 million over a three-year period, including in-kind support in areas such as medicinal chemistry and preclinical development. The partnership will offer two funding competitions per year for U-M faculty.

Source: Michigan News

Posted under: University-Industry Engagement Week

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