Industry and academia join forces as UCB and Oxford University announce new R&D partnership | UCB
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Industry and academia join forces as UCB and Oxford University announce new R&D partnership

  • New collaboration to develop innovative research in immunology and neurology
  • Government minister praises alliance following recently announced Strategy for UK Life Sciences

Slough, England, Monday 19th March 2012: UCB Pharma and Oxford University agreed today to collaborate on cutting-edge pharmaceutical research projects, enabling scientists from industry and academia to work together to develop innovative medicines to treat serious diseases in immunology and neurology.

These combined resources and expertise will give the best possible chance of turning innovative research into new medicines for patients, an area identified as a priority in the recent government Strategy for UK Life Sciences.

Professor Sir John Bell (Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford University and former president of the Academy of Medical Sciences) and David Willetts (Minister for Universities and Science) join Roch Doliveux (Chief Executive, UCB and Chairman of the Innovative Medicines Initiative) and Ismail Kola (Executive Vice President and President of New Medicines™ UCB) at UCB today to sign the agreement.

UCB is a research-driven biopharma company and invests heavily in R&D, with almost half its research spend being in the UK. UCB is one of the top five pharma R&D investors in the UK, spending over £230 million R&D in 2010 and we continue to invest in new facilities and research..

The Oxford-UCB partnership will be funded by a contribution of £3.6 million from UCB and will run over 3 years. A steering committee of UCB and Oxford University representatives will oversee the collaboration via regular meetings to scope out and monitor new projects. Between five and 10 projects will be selected for investigation over the course of the three-year agreement.

Professor Sir John Bell, Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford University, said: “This is an exciting new partnership and I am eager to see the research that results. Partnerships between industry and academia will have an increasingly prominent role to play in the development of new drugs, therapies and medical technologies. Pooling expertise and resources is exactly what we should be doing to carry out the best research, identify the most promising new drug candidates and take them forward.

Roch Doliveux, Chief Executive of UCB and Chairman of the Innovative Medicines Initiative, said: UCB actively connects its internal capabilities with world-class innovation, especially in academia. This new partnership combines Oxford University’s world-class academic research with UCB’s world-class antibody research to bring two parties, committed to scientific exploration and the exchange of cutting edge ideas, together on a mission to discover new medicines that will aim to transform the lives of people living with severe diseases.”

Commenting on the new R&D partnership, Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts said: “In our Strategy for UK Life Sciences we set out ambitious plans to make Britain the number one choice for investment, so today’s announcement from UCB and Oxford University is very welcome news. The initiative brings together leaders from the academic and business worlds to drive innovation and develop treatments for serious diseases affecting millions of people. This will in turn have benefits for patients and the economy.”

The UK premises of UCB are located in Slough, Berkshire. The site at Slough houses the immunology research hub which focuses on research for conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, inflammatory bowel disease and osteoporosis.

For further Information:

Scott Fleming, Head of UCB UK Communications
T: +44 7702777378

Laurent Schots
UCB Global Communications
+32 493 09 66 38

Jonathan Wood
Press Officer, Medical Sciences
University of Oxford
T: +441865 280530

About UCB
UCB, Brussels, Belgium ( is a global biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of innovative medicines and solutions to transform the lives of people living with severe diseases of the immune system or of the central nervous system. With more than 8,000 people in about 40 countries, the company generated revenue of EUR 3.2 billion in 2011. UCB is listed on Euronext Brussels (symbol: UCB).

About Oxford University’s Medical Sciences Division
Oxford University’s Medical Sciences Division is one of the largest biomedical research centres in Europe, with over 2,500 people involved in research and more than 2,800 students. The University is rated the best in the world for medicine, and it is home to the UK’s top-ranked medical school.

From the genetic and molecular basis of disease to the latest advances in neuroscience, Oxford is at the forefront of medical research. It has one of the largest clinical trial portfolios in the UK and great expertise in taking discoveries from the lab into the clinic. Partnerships with the local NHS Trusts enable patients to benefit from close links between medical research and healthcare delivery.

A great strength of Oxford medicine is its long-standing network of clinical research units in Asia and Africa, enabling world-leading research on the most pressing global health challenges such as malaria, TB, HIV/AIDS and flu. Oxford is also renowned for its large-scale studies which examine the role of factors such as smoking, alcohol and diet on cancer, heart disease and other conditions.

Forward looking statements: UCB
This press release contains forward-looking statements based on current plans, estimates and beliefs of management. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements, including estimates of revenues, operating margins, capital expenditures, cash, other financial information, expected legal, political, regulatory or clinical results and other such estimates and results. By their nature, such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions which could cause actual results to differ materially from those that may be implied by such forward-looking statements contained in this press release. Important factors that could result in such differences include: changes in general economic, business and competitive conditions, the inability to obtain necessary regulatory approvals or to obtain them on acceptable terms, costs associated with research and development, changes in the prospects for products in the pipeline or under development by UCB, effects of future judicial decisions or governmental investigations, product liability claims, challenges to patent protection for products or product candidates, changes in laws or regulations, exchange rate fluctuations, changes or uncertainties in tax laws or the administration of such laws and hiring and retention of its employees. UCB is providing this information as of the date of this press release and expressly disclaims any duty to update any information contained in this press release, either to confirm the actual results or to report a change in its expectations.

There is no guarantee that new product candidates in the pipeline will progress to product approval or that new indications for existing products will be developed and approved. Products or potential products which are the subject of partnerships, joint ventures or licensing collaborations may be subject to differences between the partners. Also, UCB or others could discover safety, side effects or manufacturing problems with its products after they are marketed.

Moreover, sales may be impacted by international and domestic trends toward managed care and health care cost containment and the reimbursement policies imposed by third-party payers as well as legislation affecting biopharmaceutical pricing and reimbursement.

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