Monday, 20 May 2019

UCB to form a research satellite facility within King’s College London

22 February 2019 | News

The collaboration with King’s College London is initially anticipated to help progress one novel and innovative early phase pipeline asset into human clinical studies by early 2020

UCB, a global biopharmaceutical company focusing on developing innovative treatments for patients with neurological and immunological conditions, has expanded its global satellite research site strategy by signing a new three-year research and development collaboration agreement with King’s College London, UK. The announcement furthers UCB’s strategy of complementing R&D activity undertaken in its two major international research hubs in Belgium and the UK, with smaller satellite facilities that locate industry scientists in innovative environments conducive to building new capabilities.

This collaboration with King’s also builds upon the recent successful execution of three satellite research sites in the US resulting from acquisitions of Beryllium (Boston and Seattle) and Element Genomics (Durham, NC) which will boost UCB's capabilities in genomics, protein engineering and structural biology. 

Over the course of the collaboration, leading UCB and King’s scientists will work together on-site at the Guy’s Campus - where King’s is developing a Biotech Hub - to optimise collective expertise in effectively translating basic research and clinical insights into impactful treatments for patients with unmet medical needs. It is anticipated that the collaboration will initially focus on the progression of one novel and innovative medicine into human clinical studies by the beginning of 2020. 

UCB and King’s will invest in this collaboration over an initial three-year period, with the potential to further extend, based on project outcomes. The collaboration will be managed by a Relationship Board of senior leaders from both organisations that will assess projects to be prioritised and identify new areas of science and technology of interest to both parties to ensure outcomes are maximised. To support the running of this collaboration, UCB will invest financial resource alongside in-kind benefits provided by King’s. 

The announcement of this research satellite collaboration follows UCB’s recent news, as part of the Life Sciences Sector Deal last December, that it will invest up to £1 billion over the next five years to keep one of their two major international R&D hubs in the UK, and includes investment of approximately £150-200 million in a new purpose built, state-of-the-art facility. It also aligns with the direction of travel set by the Life Science Industrial Strategy and reaffirmed in the recently published NHS Long Term Plan1 which called for collaboration between industry, academic and NHS partners. 



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