Biogen Idec and Columbia University Medical Center formed a $30 million strategic alliance to conduct genetics discovery research on the underlying causes of disease and to identify new treatment approaches. As part of the agreement, a sequencing and analysis facility and shared postdoctoral program will be established at Columbia to support collaborative genetics studies. The agreement will integrate genomics research conducted at Columbia with Biogen Idec’s understanding of disease mechanisms and pathways, and expertise in discovering new medicines.
“Our understanding of human genetics is rapidly expanding, and there is growing recognition that the elucidation of the genetic causes of disease will have a transformative effect on both patient care and drug development in many different diseases,” said David Goldstein, Ph.D., founding director of Columbia University’s Institute for Genomic Medicine. “This collaboration marries the exceptional drug development expertise of Biogen with cutting-edge genomics expertise at Columbia University Medical Center. It will not only focus on target identification and validation at the early stages of drug development, but also facilitate genetically informed evaluation of treatments.”
“Human genetic technologies and analytics have advanced to the point where they are becoming central to the discovery and development of new medicines,” added Tim Harris, Ph.D., DSc, senior vp, technology and translational sciences, Biogen Idec. “We are committed to working with leading institutions such as Columbia to advance basic genetic research and, by combining our unique strengths, accelerating the discovery of potential new treatments.”
The collaboration will enable Biogen Idec and Columbia to investigate the genomes of patients showing unusual treatment responses or unique disease presentations and to explore the connections among genes, pathways, and disease processes. The ultimate goal will be to provide multiple qualified targets for new therapeutic approaches, increasing the potential for the development of new treatments.