GSK's investment, one of the largest by a pharmaceutical company in stem cell science, will support innovative research at Harvard University and in at least four Harvard-affiliated hospitals in the areas of neuroscience, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, musculoskeletal diseases and obesity. In addition, GSK will fund an annual grant, which supports early stage research in stem cell biology, as part of HSCI's seed grant program.
This agreement marks the beginning of an exciting collaboration with multiple researchers at multiple Harvard institutions, making it possible for academic and industrial scientists to work side-by-side to develop treatments in areas of unmet medical need.
"GSK believes stem cell science has great potential to aid the discovery of new medicines by improving the screening, identification and development of new compounds. We have carefully chosen the Boston biomedical community to collaborate with on this important venture. It has the highest concentration of leading stem cell scientists, and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute is the epicentre of that community," said Patrick Vallance, Head of Drug Discovery at GSK.
The collaboration aims to integrate HSCIâs world-class stem cell expertise with GSK's pharmaceutical capabilities to drive advances in drug discovery research. This will include, for example, a staff exchange programme where HSCI and GSK researchers will spend up to several months in each other's laboratories. The collaboration will be overseen by a joint steering committee made up of HSCI and GSK scientists and managers.
"This is an exciting, extremely significant moment in the history of HSCI," said Brock Reeve, the Stem Cell Institute's Executive Director. "This kind of collaborative alliance with GlaxoSmithKline, one of the world's leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies, will allow the Harvard Stem Cell Institute to ultimately fulfil its promise of advancing stem cell science to benefit patients."
GlaxoSmithKline - one of the world's leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies - is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer. For more information, visit www.gsk.com.
About Harvard Stem Cell Institute
The Harvard Stem Cell Institute is a scientific collaborative within Harvard University and its affiliated hospitals, established to fulfill the promise of stem cell biology as a basis for cures and treatments for a wide range of chronic and medical conditions. HSCI takes a broad approach, focusing not only on stem cell science, but also on teacher education and programs in bioethics and in the public policy issues generated by stem cell research. For more information, visit www.hsci.harvard.edu.