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UCB & Harvard – partners in innovation

Posted by
Patty Fritz, Government Affairs, Policy & Communication
This week, UCB is in Boston for the BIO conference where we are taking the opportunity to announce a new collaboration with Harvard University.

The Biotechnology Industry Organization’s annual conference is one of the biggest events in the biopharma calendar, bringing together companies and academic institutions from across the world.

Our new partnership is the second collaborative research project between UCB and Harvard. The first was announced at last year’s BIO conference and was an important drug discovery bridge between industry and academia.

It focused on the development of novel antibodies with potential application in a range of diseases including diabetes and other metabolic disorders.

The latest initiative builds upon that collaboration and is designed to drive the development of small molecule compounds for induction of autophagy (the mechanism our cells use to ‘auto-digest’ damaged or old parts of the cell).

Our hope – which is shared by Dr Junying Yuan, Professor of Cell Biology at Harvard Medical School – is that a deeper understanding of this process will have potential applications in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.

Professor Yuan is recognised as a leader in this field, having received numerous awards for her work, and everyone at UCB is delighted that we are joining forces.

This partnership is one of many we have unveiled which, as part of our open innovation model, aim to advance scientific knowledge by marrying our expertise in drug development with world-renowned researchers.

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