Shionogi joins Cambridge Therapeutics Consortium


Shionogi has announced its participation in the Cambridge Therapeutics Consortium, bringing its expertise in small molecules to help develop novel therapies through the open innovation model.

The consortium was launched in July 2015 and brings together several world-renowned academic institutions with the pharma industry to develop precision medicines for some of the most globally-devastating diseases.

Shionogi – currently focusing on infectious diseases and CNS disorders – will work with the genomic-focused Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, and the healthy ageing-focused Babraham Institute, expanding the consortium's research portfolio.

Other members include the University of Cambridge and pharma companies, AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Astex Pharmaceuticals.

The model gives participating academic institutions an unprecedented access to novel therapeutics being developed by the member pharmaceutical companies, allowing them to access and share information quickly and easily.

Corporate officer and senior vice president at Shionogi Pharmaceutical Research Division, Dr Takeshi Shiota, remarked: "As a pharmaceutical company which has strengths in small molecule drug discovery, we are proud to be part of the exciting new innovative approach to leveraging each other's strengths and creating something new together."

Professor Tony Kouzarides of the University of Cambridge hoped that more pharma companies would join the consortium, emphasising his belief that "this form of partnership is a model for how academic institutions and industry can work together to deliver better medicines."

From 2018, the consortium will form part of the larger Milner Therapeutics Institute at Cambridge University, building on the successful collaboration between GSK, the Wellcome Trust and Cancer Research UK-funded Gurdon Institute.

Linda Banks

16 February, 2016