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Jun 30, 2011

UCB and Harvard Establish Research Alliance to Develop Antibody Therapeutics

  • Belgium-based UCB has established a research alliance with Harvard University that ultimately aims to transfer promising academic drug development research into the commercial arena, primarily in the areas of central nervous system and immunology. UCB will input its antibody generation and medicinal chemistry expertise into the alliance, and provide up to $6 million in funding over two years to support specific research projects led by Harvard scientists.

    The first research project under the collaboration will focus on the development of antibodies against a target with potential applications in diseases including diabetes and metabolic disorders. The program will be headed by Gokhan S. Hotamisligil, M.D., chair of the department of genetics and complex diseases at Harvard School of Public Health.

    “Harvard’s world-class academic research is an excellent fit with UCB’s world-class antibody research and central nervous system pharmacology,” states Ismail Kola, president of UCB NewMedicines. "Both parties will learn from each other through the collaboration and a two-way exchange of ideas. Harvard will benefit from UCB’s strengths and industry experience in drug discovery and development, while Harvard’s exceptional research will complement UCB’s internal expertise.”


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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

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