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Working collaboratively drives innovation and delivers value for patients

Posted by
Jiri Keirsse, Innovation Strategy & Transformation

‘Innovation’ can mean many different things to many different people, but what unites each of these unique interpretations is an understanding that a key element is to challenge your thinking and the thinking of your colleagues. Challenging your own thinking and having others challenge it is integral to any culture which claims to have innovation at its heart.

At UCB we recognize that the solitary exploration of ideas will never be as productive as when we work together. That’s why our culture not only fosters curiosity but also collaboration. Collaboration between groups some may perceive as separate; with patients, academia and industry partners, can lead to the whole becoming greater than the sum of its parts.

UCB’s passion for challenge and collaboration, and our people’s intrinsic curiosity, create an environment in which innovation can thrive and where external connections are encouraged. Our strong network of collaborators helps challenge our thinking and exposes us to new ideas and ways of working.

This is particularly important in an era when technology is revolutionizing how pharmaceutical companies conduct research and develop medicines, as well as how patients experience healthcare and how healthcare professionals deliver it. We know that digital transformation has the potential to help us identify novel disease biology insights, and our digital partners can help us to realize this.

We’ve been working closely with several high-profile collaborators in the digital space to combine their computational services, cloud, and artificial intelligence (AI) with our drug discovery and development capabilities. It is our hope and belief that digital platforms can support our scientists to discover and develop new differentiated medicines in a more efficient and innovative way.

The same pursuit of innovation and desire to challenge our status-quo, inspired and guided our journey into adeno-associated viral vector (AAV) gene therapy. We believe that this type of therapy will further enable our transition from symptomatic treatments to disease-modifying and potentially curative solutions. Initially we envision these solutions for well-defined monogenic patient populations, but with the ambition to address complex, multifactorial conditions in the future.

Patients remain at the center of everything we do here at UCB – a philosophy that is demonstrated day in day out; apparent at every level, from corporate strategic decision-making to the hallway discussions with colleagues. We recognize that innovation and collaboration are key in our mission to serve patients and society. It’s a bold mission, but an incredibly exciting one, and we can’t wait to see where it takes us next.

If you enjoyed this article take a look at our dedicated ‘innovation is’ website here.

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