Academic−Industrial Partnerships in Drug Discovery and Development

Academic−Industrial Partnerships in Drug Discovery and Development

Author: Jonathan Faiz

The pharmaceutical industry is facing economic and strategic pressures to remain productive and profitable, and those involved in basic research in academia are encountering difficulties as funding is shifting toward more applied areas. Thus, the field of drug design and development can benefit from academic−industrial partnerships. In his Editorial, K. C. Nicolaou, Rice University, Houston, TX, USA, discusses the challenges and opportunities for such collaborations.

To start with, both parties need to understand each other’s research culture. This involves streamlined operations in industry but high-risk research in academia and also agree on topics such as how intellectual property is handled.
Nicolaou outlines some topics that he feels are suited to such partnerships. These include the exploration of new structural motifs, such as chiral motifs and three-dimensional structures, as well as exploiting natural products as lead compounds, and the exploration of biologic drugs.

According to Nicolaou, such a partnership model will be essential to apply fundamental chemistry to medicine.

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  1. Claire Francis

    At Scientific Update, we have been trying to ‘bridge the gap’ between academia and industry for some time. Our conference ‘Modern Synthetic Methods’ was designed to bring together chemists from both arenas to discuss these very issues. Over the years, many academics have presented their work and found new industrial partnerships or recognized issues that needed to be resolved to enable their technology to find industrial application. Our next event is taking place in Orlando in May:


    Well articulated and inspiring article and suited to the current global challenges of increasing disease burden. Such AIP should be encouraged & developed to help the world reduce itscurrent disease burden.


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