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Pharmaceuticals

Wyeth and Scots In Research Pact

Partners will spend $87 million on translational medicine R&D effort

by Ann M. Thayer
April 10, 2006 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 84, ISSUE 15

Wyeth Pharmaceuticals and the Health Ministry of Scotland have formed the Translational Medicine Research Collaboration. With the support of Scotland's Scotland's National Health Service (NHS) and economic development agency, , TMRC will combine efforts at Wyeth with those of four Scottish medical universities.Scottish Enterprise

Scottish Enterprise says it will invest $30 million in the collaboration; Wyeth will contribute $57 million in the first five years and has an option to continue funding over another five years.

Translational medicine seeks to integrate drug research and development and patient response to create new, more personalized therapies and diagnostics. It is a part of NIH's Roadmap for Medical Research, and many major drug firms, including Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline, and Wyeth, have established internal translational research groups to increase the information flow between their R&D and clinical programs as a means to improve productivity in both areas. In addition, AstraZeneca is collaborating with M. D. Anderson Cancer Center and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

"Translational medicine is a key success factor to the development of the next generation of innovative medicines," said Frank S. Walsh, Wyeth's executive vice president and head of discovery research, in announcing the deal.

TMRC will include a central laboratory at the University of Dundee that will work with centers of excellence at Dundee and universities in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, and Glasgow. Clinical research programs will be set up at each of the universities' medical schools. The program is expected to create 50 new jobs at the central lab and as many as 120 overall.

TMRC's goals include the identification of biomarkers. These biological or chemical indicators can help identify groups of patients that may respond best to a given treatment. The researchers intend to use biomarkers to follow the progress and response of patients in specialized clinical trials.

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