Elan & UCD Create Biotech Partnership

Fresh from linking up with Cambridge University to find therapies for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, Elan Corporation announced today that they have signed another academic pact, this time with Ireland’s University College Dublin.

An initiative has been announced which is designed to create “a leadership position in the global biotechnology industry”, says Elan, adding that the cornerstone of this will be the establishment of Europe’s first interdisciplinary chair in the ‘business of biotechnology’. In addition, Elan will contribute over 3 million euros to UCD’s new 67,000 square metre science centre that is nearing completion. The initiative is expected to run for at least seven years.

Elan’s chief executive Kelly Martin said that rapid advancements in biology, computational application and diagnostics “combined with the globalisation of the biotechnology industry require future business leaders… to manage a portfolio of assets within the environment of a dynamic and ever-changing risks/reward equation”. He added that “future industry and company success will be defined by those with the ability to make good decisions within this integrated space”.

Mr Martin went on to speak of the need to balance “complex and multi-dimensional considerations such as patient requirements and personalised medicine”, adding that “the effective management of complex regulatory and legal frameworks, along with global pricing and reimbursement will also be a prerequisite to success”.

UCD noted that it has over 250 industry partnerships and is “the national leader in technology transfer and university spinouts”; many of these have gone on to develop “new and game-changing products and services”.

“With Elan’s broad and significant support, we hope to be a leader and substantial contributor to the development of the biotechnology sector on a global basis. From a UCD perspective, our goal is to help create leading edge approaches to the management of, and participation in, the “science process” which is the fundamental foundation to long-term success of the biotechnology sector,” said Dr Hugh Brady, president of UCD.

The UCD link-up follows an announcement last month that Elan is investing $10 million over five years in the initial phase of The Cambridge-Elan Centre for Research Innovation and Drug Discovery, newly launched at the University of Cambridge.



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