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Published on : Jul 23, 2014

Seven leading drugmakers in the UK have decided to share their unused experimental medicines with British researchers involved in academic research. This move is seen as an effort to deepen relations between the pharmaceutical industry and the community of scientists in the country.

The new partnership between the seven pharma companies and the Medical Research Council (MRC) was announced by British business minister Vince Cable on Tuesday, which ensures that an array of “deprioritized” compounds from the companies will be given to the researchers for their studies. 

These compounds are barred from development due to their inefficiency against a particular condition, but they may still prove to be of good use for treating diseases that fall on similar biological pathways – and off-course, for research purposes. 

The idea for this program is drawn from a similar program earlier undertaken between the MRC and AstraZeneca. The program now sees collaboration from other major pharma companies including GlaxoSmithKline, Eli Lilly, Johnson & Johnson, Takeda, UCB and Pfizer other than AstraZeneca. 

Pharma companies have usually been quite reluctant about sharing their compounds in the past. However now there is a growing trend of doing so due to the recognition of outside experts in being able to unlock the value of compounds with a different approach. This has resulted in shared profits between academic institutes and the pharma industry in their collaboration in the earlier project of 2011.