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GlaxoSmithKline, M. D. Anderson Formalize Collaboration in Cancer Research


Two international leaders in cancer research and drug development have announced completion of master agreements that will more effectively accelerate translational research and ultimately, bring new cancer drugs to patients faster.

The five-year, non-exclusive strategic alliance between The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center and GlaxoSmithKline establishes a partnership to more effectively develop new therapeutic, diagnostic and imaging products of mutual interest. The alliance will focus on integrated preclinical and clinical programs for disease intervention addressing key questions in the lab and translating those findings to the clinic and back to the lab.

Both M. D. Anderson and GlaxoSmithKline share a common goal of advancing personalized medicine where patients who are most likely to benefit from specific drugs are identified and then monitored for response to the drug. M. D. Anderson and GlaxoSmithKline have appointed a joint alliance team to oversee interactions for a series of focused initiatives that include mutual basic science, clinical research and education.

Robert C. Bast, M.D.

Robert C. Bast, M.D.

“Strategic alliances are the way of the future where academe and industry work together toward common goals that benefit our patients” says Robert Bast, M.D., vice president for translational research at M. D. Anderson. “This alliance will bring two great organizations together combining unique strengths of GlaxoSmithKline with our faculty to more effectively bring the newest drugs to our patients faster. M. D. Anderson is committed to accelerate drug development, to design and conduct intelligent clinical trials, and to bring the best new treatments to our patients.”

“Creating collaborative alliances with world class academic and research institutions such as M. D. Anderson is a critical component of our vision and our strategy to accelerate discovery and development of our strong pipeline of products into much needed medicines for cancer patients,” says Paolo Paoletti, M.D., senior vice president and head of GSK Oncology Medicine Development Center.

“This alliance allows GSK to match internal capabilities with M. D. Anderson’s unique academic and research expertise to accomplish our mission of developing medicines that make patients feel better and live longer,” adds Clet Niyikiza, Ph.D., vice president of strategic asset management and biomarker research program at GSK Oncology Medicine Development Center.

In addition to the basic science and clinical aspects of the agreement, the collaboration also calls for a new M. D. Anderson fellowship. Projected to start this fall, the GlaxoSmithKline Translational Research Fellowship is a two-year program for basic scientists, selected by representatives from M. D. Anderson and GlaxoSmithKline. The fellows will have basic science and clinical mentors within both organizations and will participate in clinical rotations and didactic coursework in addition to conducting their laboratory research.


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