Roche lays Scandinavian groundwork
Uppsala/Basel – Swedish life science initiative Uppsala BIO is set to team up with drugmaker Hoffman-La Roche AG. For the next three years, the cluster will become the ninth member – and the first from Europe – of the Swiss pharma’s global network for early-stage research.
Specifically, Roche will take part in the Swedish initiative’s BIO-X programme, which aims to bridge the gap between the typical outputs of academic research and proof of concept – the point at which a technology or a potential drug compound would be in suitable shape to feed into the bottom end of Roche’s R&D pipeline. The Swiss company has agreed to co-finance selected BIO-X projects, and retains a right of first negotiation to resulting technologies. In a formal call, academic researchers in the region, including those based at the Karolinska Institutet, Uppsala University and the Swedish University for Agricultural Sciences, will be asked to submit their concepts on how to cope with particular needs that have been specified by Uppsala BIO’s industrial partners. These proposals will be evaluated for their commercial potential, and selected projects will receive financing for two years. The Swedish cluster and its industrial partners are to set out a development plan and provide guidance and feedback to the project partners.
“Having Roche as a strategic partner opens up great possibilities to our early projects within the BIO-X programme,” commented Dr. Eric Forsberg from Uppsala BIO. Since 1999, Roche has been running a global innovation programme based on umbrella agreements with key partners. The other eight partners in the network reach almost thirty universities all over the world.