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GEN News Highlights : Jul 24, 2008

GSK Commits $25M to Stem Cell Alliance with Harvard University

Funding will support work in neuroscience, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, musculoskeletal diseases, and obesity.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) are embarking on a five-year, $25 million plus stem cell science collaboration. GSK’s investment will support research at the university and in at least four Harvard-affiliated hospitals in neuroscience, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, musculoskeletal diseases, and obesity. In addition, GSK will fund an annual grant that supports early-stage research in stem cell biology as part of HSCI’s seed grant program.

The collaboration will integrate HSCI’s stem cell expertise with GSK’s pharmaceutical capabilities to drive advances in drug discovery research, according to the groups. This will include a staff exchange program. The collaboration will be overseen by a joint steering committee made up of HSCI and GSK scientists and managers.

“GSK believes stem cell science has great potential to aid the discovery of new medicines by improving screening, identification, and development of new compounds,” remarks Patrick Vallance, head of drug discovery at GSK. “We have carefully chosen the Boston biomedical community to collaborate with on this important venture. It has the highest concentration of leading stem cell scientists, and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute is the epicentre of that community.”