The future Francis Crick Institute has established its first industrial collaboration, even before opening its doors. And the lucky nominee couldn’t have been any other than GlaxoSmithKline, the UK’s largest pharmaceutical company. The partners are seeking to  better understand human diseases, hoping that the research will lead to innovative drugs against a broad range of disorders.

The Francis Crick Institute was created jointly by the Medical Research Council, Cancer Research UK, the Wellcome Trust, University College London, Imperial College London and King’s College London. The UK’s newest biomedical research facility is expected to become a world-leading biomedical research center right in the heart of London. Judging by its capacity of establishing collaborations, it seems to have the potential to do so.

Scientists from both the Crick Institute and GSK will work side-by-side in integrated teams at the Londoner life science hub and GSK’s R&D hub in Stevenage. The close proximity of these two sites and the institutions’ complementary areas of expertise will create a fertile ground for innovative research, exposing scientists to new ways of thinking and building capabilities within each organization.

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The interaction between Crick and GSK scientists will benefit both sides, and hopefully lead to significant discoveries in the basic scientific understanding of human disease, which will ultimately result in uncovering new medicines.

In the spirit of open innovation, research findings from the collaboration will be shared with the broader scientific community, via joint publication in peer-reviewed journals. This will enable important discoveries to be applied across the research community, maximizing the collaboration’s potential to further enhance scientific understanding and accelerate the development of treatments for patients.

The Center, named after the co-discoverer of DNA structure, won’t be open for business until next year. At that point, the Institute will combine some of the world’s best scientific minds with an objective: boost scientific understanding. Investigators there will find new ways to diagnose, prevent and treat a range of illnesses thanks to basic research. It is so encouraging to see that not only public institutes, but also big pharmas bet on the increase of scientific knowledge, so important to the appearance of innovation.

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