Takeda Pharmaceutical will partner with Harrington Discovery Institute at University Hospitals in Cleveland on discoveries intended to advance development of rare disease treatments, in the Institute’s first such collaboration with a major pharma.

The value of the multiyear collaboration and other financial terms were not disclosed.

Takeda and Harrington said their collaboration will build on the Institute's established operating model for creating new programs focused on rare disease therapies, while complementing Takeda's strategic R&D focus in therapeutic areas that include oncology, gastroenterology, and central nervous system disorders.

The collaboration will focus on supporting M.D. and Ph.D. researchers from across the U.S. as they develop disruptive and transformative research that shows promise for translation into new treatments, Takeda and Harrington said.

Researchers will have access to Takeda's internal research and development experts, the partners said, as well as access to grant funding from Harrington and drug development capability and project management from experts in the Institute’s Innovation Support Center.

“We believe Harrington Discovery Institute has a unique structure that is immensely helpful to academic researchers who are developing novel therapeutics that can result in significant impact for patients,” Daniel Curran, M.D., head of Takeda’s Center for External Innovation, said in a statement.

Added Jonathan S. Stamler, M.D., president of the Harrington Discovery Institute: “We are delighted to see Takeda's confidence in us to advance early-stage discoveries in a major area of unmet medical need.”

“Through this partnering model that bridges academia and industry, we will jointly leverage our financial and human capital to accelerate the pace of cures for rare diseases,” said Dr. Stamler, who is also the Robert S. and Sylvia K. Reitman Family Foundation Distinguished Chair in Cardiovascular Innovation at University Hospitals and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.

Harrington Discovery Institute is part of The Harrington Project for Discovery & Development, a $300 million national initiative designed to bridge the translational “valley of death” between the seed stage and product launch. The Institute—created in 2012 with a $50 million founding gift from the Harrington family—likewise aims to aid physician-scientists seeking to translate their discoveries into treatments.

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