Translational tidbits

Consorting with academia

GlaxoSmithKline plc has set up an immuno-oncology consortium that invites academics from six cancer centers to view its nonpublic early pipeline programs and share ideas for new therapeutic candidates.

The Oncology Clinical and Translational Consortium (OCTC) includes the Gustave Roussy Institute, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, the Netherlands Cancer Institute, the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and the Vall d'Hebron Institute of Oncology.

Mining academia for ideas is not new for GSK, as it previously created partnerships through its Center for Excellence for External Drug Discovery, which ran from 2005 to 2012, and it continues scouting for new opportunities via its Discovery Partnerships with Academia group.

The pharma also is putting some molecules in the public domain by contributing compounds and related data from discontinued programs to the therapeutics discovery program run by the NIH's National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences.

Now, rather than giving out discontinued compounds or asking academics what they have in their labs, GSK is disclosing its own active, early stage programs and asking academics how they might leverage these with basic research findings to create improved therapeutics.

Axel Hoos, VP of the Immuno-Oncology and Combinations Discovery Performance Unit at GSK, is spearheading

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