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October 20, 2016

TSRI, Calibr Partner on Translational R&D

  • The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) and the California Institute for Biomedical Research (Calibr) will partner to translate discoveries into new treatments through a new combined research entity.

    The two San Diego research institutions said their strategic affiliation will integrate TSRI’s basic scientific research with Calibr’s focus on translating R&D from discovery through early clinical trials, with the goal of accelerating development of new drugs at lower cost.

    TSRI and Calibr reason that the new entity can create a self-sustaining model for nonprofit research, through which drug development successes drive funding for future scientific discoveries and treatments.

    Both institutions are helmed by Peter G. Schultz, Ph.D., who joined TSRI as vice chair and CEO last year while remaining at the helm of Calibr. Dr. Schultz succeeded Michael Marletta, Ph.D., who resigned under pressure in 2014 following a faculty revolt over TSRI’s plans to merge with or be acquired by University of Southern California (USC), and disclosures about an annual deficit that reached $21 million—a shortfall TSRI blamed at the time on inconsistent federal funding of basic research, a failure to raise private funds, and too few alliances with biopharma companies.

    The institute has sought to generate new revenue in part through more translational research—something Calibr has sought to accomplish through partnerships with Bristol-Myers Squibb and Merck & Co., which contributed $90 million to launch Calibr in 2012.

    “We aren’t building from scratch,” Dr. Schultz said in a statement. “We are integrating the strengths of two proven nonprofit organizations, enabling TSRI to remain committed to basic biological and chemical discovery and the understanding of disease processes, while turning these insights into innovative new medicines for unmet needs ranging from cancer and degenerative disease to childhood and neglected diseases through the affiliation with Calibr.”

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