Academic CRO/Industrial Collaborations in Drug Discovery

The pharmaceutical industry, standing on the shoulders’ of academia, has been the driver of drug discovery and development by managing the knowledge for profit. It is now clear that the cost of research is escalating by leaps and bounds, while the number of new molecular entities and the number of drugs approved are at their lowest. Academia has recently become a vital contributor to the otherwise dwindling drug discovery pipeline by establishing in-house high throughput drug screening centers to generate leads. The pharmaceutical industry, in turn, has come to understand the depth of target biology, systems biology and pathobiology knowledge that resides in academia, and recognizes the need for close interaction and collaboration between the two institutions for better targets to pursue and to lower the attrition during efficacy and safety assessment phase of drug development. What we now see evolving is the much needed collaborative spirit between these two diverse institutions in closing this risk-reward gap as exemplified by a number of industry-academia collaborative agreements that are being put in place. With great many academic institutions becoming engaged in drug discovery research, the time is ripe to find ways to bridge the gap, and conquer the ‘valley of death’ in new drug lead discovery. The goal of this session is to understand the role of academia and CROs in translational research, the guiding principles that define the pharmaceutical industry and Academia, review and analysis of current and prospective partnerships between academia and the pharmaceutical industry, a roadmap for developing a win-win scenario for technology transfer, and proven ways to strengthen drug discovery partnerships between Pharma and Academia.