Fundraising net proceeds go to COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund for WHO

How Academia-Industry Collaboration Has Benefited Society

Academic and Industry collaborations are not a  new concept that was created in the 21st century. The concept dates back to the 1970s, and “since 1973, the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Industry-University Cooperative Research Centers Program (IUCRC) has facilitated partnerships between scientific researchers from both industry and academia to drive innovation.” 1 Below, Bioinsider will describe the power of academia-industry collaborations.

Benefit 1: Economic Impact

One of the most significant benefits of academic-industry collaboration is the economic impact that academic licensing has had and the number of jobs that it has created. A report on the Economic Contribution of University/Nonprofit Inventions in the United States between 1996-2015  estimated that ” the total contribution of…academic licensors to industry gross output ranges from $320 billion to $1.33 trillion, in 2009 U.S. dollars; and contributions to gross domestic product (GDP) range from $148 billion to $591 billion, in 2009 U.S. dollars.”  It is estimated that university hospitals and research institutes’ licensed-product sales in the U.S. supported employment ranging from 1.268 million to over 4.272 million over a 20-year period. These positive revenues can be reinvested into research to ensure a sustainable research cycle for years to come.

Benefit 2: More Opportunities for Universities

When working with industries, universities benefit through additional research funding mechanisms and receiving industry feedback on the potential for created technology to go from conception to market.1 “By striking up corporate partnerships, universities have more resources to undertake research, and they’re able to diversify their research areas.” 1  An additional reason for universities to work with industry is the ability for students to gain industrial experience and potential employment in these universities’ partner companies.  These companies are “vying for graduates who have the pulse on emerging markets. And they’ve mentored students, who are acquiring expertise long before they’re employees.” 1  By helping students receive job offers, the universities” can point to the strength of their faculty and programs. Substantial job placement numbers are enticing to prospective students—and assures other possible corporate partners that their talent pool is deep.” 1  

Benefit 3: Head- Start and Safety Net for Industry

When industries work with universities, they are able to access a network of faculty, key opinion leaders, and leaders in the field, as well as collaborate with companies that are engaged in similar research.1 Universities are also places where the next big idea usually originates. Companies that align themselves with universities early in the process will gain a competitive advantage over their competitors.1 Additionally, companies associated with universities will be able to “de-risk” their research and avoid research costs, saving the companies money as they funnel dollars to universities.1 IUCRC, for instance, has calculated that every dollar invested in partnership is leveraged 40 times, meaning that if a company contributes $50,000 to a partnership, they will receive $2 million additional dollars in research funding. Using this risk-averse procedure, companies can feel more confident in conducting research and knowing that their investment will pay off in the long run. In other words, companies can completely immerse themselves in a specific field of study without having to pitch to potential venture capitalists about the value of their endeavor.  As a result, it is a win-win situation for both the industry and academia.

 Success Stories

There have been multiple success stories in the life sciences sector of academia-industry collaborations. These success stories have shown that academia-industry collaborations are a concept to be taken seriously and beneficial to society. Below are a few examples of what collaboration between academia and industry can achieve.

Pfizer and University of California San Francisco

In 2010, Pfizer and the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) created a partnership called the Center for Therapeutic Innovation (CTI) to accelerate the “translation of biomedical research into new medications and therapies for patients.” 3 Pfizer pledged up to $ 85 million in research support and milestone payments for breakthrough medicines developed for illnesses with high unmet needs.The partnership allows for support of up to 10 projects at a time. The partnerships “established an open network of researchers to foster collaboration and exchange between UCSF and Pfizer scientists.”  It was so successful in its first several years that it expanded the partnership to include the development of small-molecule drug candidates such as kinase inhibitors for the treatment of pediatric malignant brain tumors.3 The joint effort has also paved the way to an immunomodulatory treatment option for type 1 diabetes involving CTI, a UCSF scientist, and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.3

GSK and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

In 2015, a partnership between GSK(GlaxoSmithKline) and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was formed to find a cure for HIV/AIDS.  In the agreement, GSK expressed its intent to contribute its expertise and knowledge in pharmaceutical discovery, development, and manufacturing, while UNC-Chapel Hill would contribute its research and translational medicine capabilities, including access to patients and funding. As part of the HIV Cure Center project, UNC would provide laboratory space on its campus, and GSK would relocate its researchers to Chapel Hill to work with UNC researchers. To manage the business side of the venture, including intellectual property, commercialization, manufacturing, and corporate governance, the university and company formed a joint venture, Qura Therapeutics, Inc. Through Qura Therapeutics, GSK promised to invest $4 million per year for five years to fund the initial HIV Cure center research plan.” 3

Novartis and University of Pennsylvania

In 2012, Novartis and the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) reached a global research and licensing agreement to study cellular immunotherapies such as chimeric antigen receptors ( CARs). This agreement has paved the way for studies that have the potential to expand the use of CAR therapies for additional cancers. In 2016, the Novartis-Penn Center for Advanced Cellular Therapies (CACT) was opened on the Penn campus in Philadelphia. In partnership with Penn, Novartis, and the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, is dedicated to discovering, developing, and manufacturing adoptive T cell immunotherapies. Through this agreement, Novartis receives an exclusive worldwide license to the technologies used in an ongoing clinical trial for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and any future CAR-based therapies developed through the collaboration. Additionally, Penn will receive milestone and royalty payments under the agreement.

Conclusion

To sum up, collaborations between academia-industry are possible. By establishing agreements, each party brings its strengths to the table, thereby allowing more research to be conducted with minimal risk.  Collaboration between academia and industry is bound to increase as “the federal government has a central role in funding basic research and aligning it with the public need, while universities and private industry share primary responsibility for delivering on the federal investment”4.  They are two halves of a whole, and one without the other will not attain their research goals.

About the author:

Nicole Ludwiak is enthusiastic about emerging cancer therapeutics and the potential of technology to advance medical research. 

 

Reference:

  1. Sjostedt, M. (2021, June 17). industry and university collaboration: how partnership drives innovation. VentureWell. https://venturewell.org/industry-and-university-collaboration/
  2. The Economic Contribution of University/Nonprofit Inventions in the United States: 1996–2015. (2017). Biotechnology Innovation Organization.
  3. Biotechnology-Academic Sponsored Research Engagement Opportunities: Eight Guiding Principles and Best Practices. (2017). Biotechnology Innovation Organization. 
  4. Industry, Academia, and Government Collaboration: A Game Changer for. (2013, May 20). U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. https://www.uschamberfoundation.org/bhq/industry-academia-and-government-collaboration-game-changer-us-economic-future
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on xing
XING
Share on email
Email

You may also be interested in...

James E. Crowe, Jr., MD,

Director, Vanderbilt Vaccine Center; Professor, Pediatrics and Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, Ann Scott Carell Chair; Founder, IDBiologics

Dr. Crowe’s laboratory has a broad portfolio of work in the area of viral immunology and antibody sciences, with the goal to discover mechanisms of immunity important to developing new therapeutics and vaccines.

Dr. Crowe received his MD degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he also completed his pediatrics residency. Following his clinical training, Dr. Crowe received five years of post-doctoral training in the laboratory of Infectious Diseases at the NIH. He completed infectious diseases fellowship training in 1996 at Vanderbilt and has run an independent laboratory at Vanderbilt since that time. He is currently Professor of Pediatrics and of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology, and the Ann Scott Carell Chair, Vanderbilt University Medical Center. The laboratory’s work has been published in over 300 publications in high-quality science journals including CellScience and Nature, and leading medical journals including the New England Journal of Medicine and JAMA. Dr. Crowe was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2014 and the National Academy of Inventors in 2017. He has been the recipient of investigator awards from the March of Dimes, American Society for Microbiology, Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, and Society for Pediatric Research. He was awarded the Judson Infectious Daland Prize of the American Philosophical Society, the Oswald Avery Award of the IDSA, the E. Mead Johnson Award for Excellence in Pediatrics, the Outstanding Investigator Award of the American Federation for Medical Research, the Norman J. Siegel Award of the American Pediatric Society, the Samuel Rosenthal Prize for Excellence in Academic Pediatrics, the Stanley J. Korsmeyer Award of American Society for Clinical Investigation, the Distinguished Medical Alumnus Award from UNC School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, NC. He is an elected Fellow of AAM, AAAS, ASCI, and AAP, IDSA, APS, and others. His research team was selected as the Best Academic Research Team at the 11th Annual Vaccine Industry Excellence Awards. He was awarded the inaugural 2019 Merck Future Insight Prize, a 1M Euro prize shared with Pardis Sabeti. 

He is the Founder of IDBiologics, Inc., an early-stage biotech company developing human monoclonal antibodies for infectious diseases.

Daniel Chen, MD, PhD

CMO, IGM Bioscience

Daniel S. Chen, MD, PhD, is the Chief Medical Officer for IGM Biosciences, and former Vice President, Global Head of Cancer Immunotherapy Development at Genentech/Roche.  He received a BS degree in Biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1990), a PhD in Microbiology & Immunology (1996), and MD (1998) from the University of Southern California. His PhD work and publications focused on “Early Events in Coronavirus Infection.”

Daniel completed an Internal Medicine Residency and Medical Oncology Fellowship at Stanford University (2003). He went on to complete a Post-doctoral fellowship with Mark Davis in Immunology, where he was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Associate. He also ran the metastatic melanoma clinic at the Stanford Cancer Center from 2003-2006. In that time, he studied human anti-cancer immune responses pre- and post-cancer vaccination and cytokine administration to determine why anti-tumor immune responses were not more clinically effective. He received a U19 grant to develop better immunologic tools to interrogate human immune responses and ultimately patented the MHC cellular microarray to detect and functionally characterize antigen-specific T cell states.

He continued as Adjunct Clinical Faculty at Stanford from 2006-2016, where he cared for melanoma patients. At Genentech from 2006-2018, Daniel focused on the clinical development of anti-angiogenic and immune-modulatory targeted therapies in both early and late development, as well as the diagnostic tools to aid their development. This included leading the clinical development for atezolizumab, a PD-L1 inhibitor, from the time the program was in research through IND, Phase I, Phase II, Phase III, to filing and approvals in multiple indications worldwide. At IGM, Daniel focuses on the development of novel engineered multivalent and multispecific therapeutics. He is a reviewer for Nature, Immunity, and Clinical Cancer Research, serves on the Board of Directors for SITC, co-chair of the CRI cancer Immunotherapy consortium, gave the keynote presentation at the AACR NCI EORTC Annual Meeting 2014 and presented at the US Congressional Briefing on Immuno Oncology in 2017. He has continued to publish with academic and industry collaborators in the field of cancer immunotherapy, including the often-referenced Chen and Mellman manuscripts, “Elements of cancer immunity and the cancer-immune set point” and “Oncology meets Immunology: The Cancer-Immunity Cycle.”

Imre Berger

Founding Director, Max Planck Bristol Centre; Chair in Biochemistry and Chemistry; University of Bristol UK

Imre Berger was trained as a biochemist and synthetic biologist at Leibniz University and Medical School (MHH) in Hannover (Germany), at MIT (Cambridge, USA), and at ETH Zurich (Switzerland). Imre’s team develops enabling methods for DNA delivery and genome engineering, engineers synthetic vaccines and nanosensors and researches the structure and mechanism of multiprotein complexes in human health and disease. After Group Leader posts at ETH (2005) and EMBL (2007), Berger joined Bristol as Full Professor of Biochemistry (2014) with a joint appointment in Chemistry (2019). He is Founding Director of the Max Planck Centre for Minimal Biology in Bristol, Director of the BBSRC/EPSRC research center for synthetic biology BrisSynBio and Co-director of the Bristol Biodesign Institute BBI.

Imre Berger holds international patents for DNA and protein technologies, co-founded three biotech companies, and received numerous distinctions, notably the Swiss Technology Award, the W.A. DeVigier Foundation Award, and a Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator Award for his innovative research. Since 2019, he is an Investigator of the European Research Council (ERC).

Prof. Berger has participated in leading roles in numerous European Commission (EC) projects, including the pan-European structural biology infrastructure INSTRUCT. He has been Coordinator of the EC FP7 HEALTH ComplexINC project enhancing production tools for complex biologics in academic and industrial R&D (2011-2016) and is partner in the EPSRC funded Innovative Future Vaccine Manufacturing Research Hub.

Sina Bavari, PhD

CSO, Edge BioInnovation Consulting and Management; former CSO, Scientific Director US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID)

Dr. Sina Bavari is the co-founder of Healion Bio. He is one of the lead (non-gov) scientific adviser to the World Health Organization on SARSCoV-2. He has spent over 30 years developing rapid response diagnostics, prophylaxis, therapeutics, and vaccines for some of the world’s deadliest infectious diseases. Prior to co-founding Healion Bio, Dr. Bavari founded Edge BioInnovation Consulting and Mgt. and was the Chief Scientific Officer and Scientific Director at USAMRIID (US Army Research Institute of Infectious Diseases), where he spent over twenty years leading the discovery and development of vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics or diseases such as SARS and MERS CoVs, Ebola, Marburg, Zika, Smallpox, Sudan, Nipah, alpha viruses, Anthrax and many others. He has worked extensively with the FDA to successfully develop clinically proven countermeasures for many so-called envelope viruses like SARS-CoV-2. Dr. Bavari has contributed to ~20 drug development candidates such as Remdesivir, 30 patents, and many IND filings. He has trained over 70 scientists and managed over 500 scientists and supporting staff. His work has resulted in over 350 publications in many of the leading scientific journals including Nature, Nature Medicine, Cell, Cell Hosts, New England Journal of Medicine and many others. He has degrees from USC, and the University of Nebraska where he received his PhD in Immunotoxicology and Pharmaceutical Science.

Therapeutics Pipeline for COVID-19

Get the latest updates, interviews and receive special offers

Pre-register Today!

Ralph Rogers, MD

Assistant Professor of Medicine, Clinician Educator, Infectious Diseases, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University

Ralph Rogers, MD is an infectious disease specialist at the Lifespan Cancer Institute. He earned his medical degree from The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University where he also completed his residency and fellowship in infectious diseases. Dr. Rogers is Assistant Professor of Medicine, Clinician Educator Division of Infectious Diseases Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. He is a member of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) and the American Society of Transplantation (AST).

John Sninsky, PhD

Consultant, Translational Sciences

John J. Sninsky, PhD is a translational medicine consultant with deep understanding of diagnostics and diagnostics paired with medicine intervention. John has served in senior management positions in small and large CLIA service laboratories and in vitro diagnostic kit companies including Cetus, Roche Molecular Systems, Celera, Quest and CareDx. He was a member of the pioneering Cetus team that developed and optimized PCR technology for research and diagnostic use; specifically, the virology team developed the HIV, HTLV, HPV, HCV and HBV PCR assays. John put in place a surveillance initiative for viral variants and presented at the first FDA PMA advisory meeting for HIV PCR approval.

Timothy J. O’Leary, MD, PhD

Adjunct Professor, Pathology, University of Maryland School of Medicine; Former Chief Research and Development Officer, Veterans Affairs

Timothy O’Leary, MD, is Adjunct Professor of Pathology at the University of Maryland and served as Chief Research and Development Officer (CRADO) of the Department of Veterans Affairs from 2013-2015. He holds a doctorate in physical chemistry from Stanford University and a medical degree from the University of Michigan.

He is certified in anatomic pathology by the American Board of Pathology and in molecular genetic pathology by the American Board of Pathology and the American Board of Medical Genetics. Prior to his VA service, O’Leary chaired the Department of Cellular Pathology and Genetics at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology for more than 15 years. He joined VA in 2004 and served as Director of Biomedical Laboratory Research and Development, Director of Clinical Sciences Research and Development, and Deputy CRADO prior to his appointment as CRADO. O’Leary also served as a reserve member of the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps from 1979 to 2010, serving two tours on active duty. His research interests include genomics, proteomics, and ultrasensitive detection of biological toxins. He has served on numerous federal panels and advisory committees, including the Health and Human Services Clinical Laboratory Improvement Advisory Committee and the Food and Drug Administration Hematology and Devices Panel. O’Leary, the holder of four patents, has authored or co-authored more than 190 journal articles and numerous book chapters and technical reports. He is a past president of the Association for Molecular Pathology and served as editor-in-chief for the Journal of Molecular Diagnostics.