Through university’s Bio-X program, multiyear collaboration will focus on early-stage interdisciplinary bioscience research.

Sanofi-aventis will join with Stanford University’s Bio-X program in funding up to five programs a year under a multiyear collaboration agreement designed to focus on early-stage bioscience research. In addition, sanofi-aventis will fund an annual research forum designed to bring together researchers from the pharma giant and Bio-X to share knowledge on scientific matters and discuss projects funded through the collaboration.

Sanofi-aventis may also host postdoctoral fellows from Stanford at the company. Scientists from the firm may also be invited by Stanford faculty to be visiting scholars and to pursue research collaborations at the university.

Bio-X is a joint project of Stanford University’s schools of medicine, engineering, earth sciences, and humanities. It was created in 1998 to facilitate early-stage, interdisciplinary research in biology and medicine, incorporating Ideas and methods embodied in engineering, computer science, physics, chemistry, and other fields. Bio-X has 450 affiliated faculty members from 50 departments.

Through its Interdisciplinary Initiatives Program (IIP), Bio-X provides seed funding to researchers—about $3 million every other year in the form of two-year grants of $150,000. From the IIP’s inception in 2000 through the fifth round last September, the program has provided early-stage funding to 113 projects involving more than 294 faculty members from dozens of departments. The projects have resulted in the development of new technologies and the filing of more than 30 patents, according to Stanford.

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