The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor has partnered with India-based Sun Pharma Advanced Research Co. to accelerate the development of new medicines. The venture will provide up to $10 million in financial support and in-kind industry resources to move drug discovery research projects at U-M toward new patient therapies.
“This new partnership will greatly enhance the suite of opportunities available to campus researchers through Michigan Drug Discovery,” says Peter Toogood, director of Michigan Drug Discovery, a university-wide collaboration to provide funding and mentoring for U-M faculty members’ drug discovery projects. “With this new funding, research support and drug-development expertise from SPARC, U-M is strongly positioned to help its researchers advance their discoveries toward marketable medicines and technologies to improve human health.”
The partnership was signed on Jan. 8. Sun will support projects selected from across U-M’s broad research enterprise with a focus on early stage translational therapeutic work in oncology, neurodegeneration, inflammation, dermatology, and ophthalmology.
“Major research universities like U-M have enormous expertise in the biology and fundamental research that pharmaceutical companies seek, and the pharmaceutical industry has the large-scale chemistry resources needed to turn new discoveries into marketable drugs,” says Roger Cone, a member of the Michigan Drug Discovery executive committee and director of the U-M Life Sciences Institute, the administrative home of Michigan Drug Discovery. “This alliance helps bridge a major gap in the path from the research bench to clinics and patients.”
Each selected project will have the potential to receive a value up to $1.5 million over a three-year period, including support in areas such as medicinal chemistry and preclinical development.
The partnership will offer two funding competitions per year for U-M faculty. The first competition cycle is currently open.
“The innovative drug discovery and development taking place across the University of Michigan has enormous potential to improve human health,” says Anil Raghavan, CEO of SPARC. “We are confident that, by partnering with Michigan Drug Discovery, we can help such pioneering approaches reach that goal.”
Through grants of up to $75,000, Michigan Drug Discovery enables early-stage work such as high-throughput screening, structural biology, medicinal chemistry, natural products development, and pharmacokinetics.