Collaborations will focus on oncology and other therapeutic areas.

Sanofi-aventis has become the first industry partner to become involved in the University of California, San Francisco’s (UCSF) Program for Breakthrough Biomedical Research (PBBR), which is now entering its 14th year. The organizations have established two R&D collaborations, one focused on speeding the progress of an oncology program through to clinical proof of concept, the other designed to promote R&D in multiple therapeutic areas, including oncology, aging, diabetes, and inflammation.

Under terms of the partnership a joint UCSF/sanofi-aventis steering committee will choose from a number of UCSF-generated research proposals. Sanofi-aventis will provide up to five grants a year, and will also fund an annual research forum to combine researchers from both organizations. “By promoting open and deep scientific exchange between UCSF’s leading researchers and sanofi-aventis’ drug development experts, we aim to generate significant healthcare advances in multiple therapeutic areas,” remarks Christopher A. Viehbacher, sanofi-aventis CEO.

UCSF’s PBBR initiative provides funding to promising research programs, and has provided $42 million in funding over the last decade. Sanofi-aventis says its partnership with UCSF is part of its strategy to establish relationships and collaborations with academic innovators.

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