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GSK opens Centre of Excellence

23-May-2005

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has created a Centre of Excellence for External Drug Discovery (CEEDD) that aims to provide GSK with alternative scientific and drug discovery approaches. The CEEDD also aims to exploit the full potential of GSK's R&D assets to generate more targets and compounds.

By sharing some of these assets for development by others, the CEEDD is to leverage GSK's R&D capabilities, which are generating more target leads than GSK has internal resource to develop.

In addition, the CEEDD will provide opportunities for GSK to incorporate alternative scientific and drug discovery approaches. GSK said that the main objective is to exploit the full potential of R&D assets and get more medicines to more patients faster.

Like other centres of excellence in GSK, the CEEDD will have its own budget and portfolio, but will rely primarily on external scientific resources.

The CEEDD will combine GSK's Alternative Discovery Initiative (ADI) with the R&D concept of the Centres of Excellence for Drug Discovery (CEEDDs) that has proven effective in harnessing talent and focusing energy on drug discovery.

A number of these collaborations exist under the Alternative Discovery Initiative (ADI), which capitalises on business partners who can supplement GSK's discovery and development activities.

GSK's have a number of CEEDDs, which are able to select which programmes to pursue internally. Other assets may be developed through the Alternative Discovery Initiative (ADI), with the idea that GlaxoSmithKline and its partners can share risk and reward through various business arrangements.

The ADI partnerships with biotechnology companies and other pharmaceutical companies were created to explore different approaches to drug discovery. In 2004, additional focus was placed on ADIs by forming new partnerships with NiKem Research (central nervous system), Diversa Corp. (anti-infectives), Toyama Chemical Co Ltd (antibacterials) and Meiji Seika Kaisha Ltd.

Maxine Gowen, who is named Senior Vice President, will head up the new CEEDD. An internal management team will be responsible for delivering compounds with proof of therapeutic concept through partnerships with biotechnology companies, small- and mid-sized pharmaceutical companies, and academic institutions.

Previous collaborative ADI partnerships include: Cytokinetics Inc. (oncology: mitotic kinesin inhibitors), Shionogi & Co., (HIV and neurology programmes; potential broad-based discovery collaboration in antimicrobials, oncology, metabolic and neurology), Tanabe Seiyaku Co. Ltd. (broad-based: neurology, GI, urology, diabetes, respiratory), Exelixis Inc. (oncology, inflammation), Theravance Inc. (asthma), Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd. (broad based) and NeuroSearch (central nervous system).

ADI partnerships have also been established with three academic institutions to supplement internal target validation activities and provide better access to tissue samples and patient populations for clinical studies. GlaxoSmithKline has one academic ADI partner in the UK and two in the USA.

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