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Milner Therapeutics Institute leads pharma partner visit to IRB Barcelona and CRG



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  • The objective of the visit was to foster collaboration between pharma companies and research centres and accelerate the impact of scientific research for patients.
  • Representatives from the pharmaceutical industry visited the CRG and IRB Barcelona on the 10th and 11th of November.

Representatives from five international pharmaceutical companies visited the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) and the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) on the 10th and 11th of November, respectively, thanks to the Milner Therapeutics Institute. They were received by the management team of the research centres, including heads of departments responsible for innovation. 

The Milner Therapeutics Institute, led by Dr. Tony Kouzarides, has the mission to galvanise science into life-changing treatments, by catalysing dynamic partnerships between academia and industry. The institution has created a strong ecosystem that fosters collaboration between three Cambridge academic centres (University of Cambridge, Wellcome Sanger Institute, the Babraham Institute and 11 pharmaceutical companies), and hopes that its model can be adapted by other international research centres to enable increased interaction with industry.

The meeting in Barcelona sought to provide international pharmaceutical companies with first-hand knowledge of the main lines of research being carried out at IRB Barcelona and the CRG, and to explore promising discoveries and technologies with a potential view to establish new public-private collaboration projects.

“Meetings like these are good news, as they help foster opportunities so that the science carried out at our centre can end up reaching society,” explains Dr. Francesc Posas, Director of IRB Barcelona. "The dynamic role of entities such as the Milner Therapeutics Institute is extremely important to reduce the gap between the different sectors," he adds.

"Science generates new knowledge that improves our health and well-being and at the same time generates wealth and employment. Fostering collaboration between companies and research centres is vital to accelerate the transformation of the cutting-edge science that we carry out and transform them into solutions that are readily available for patients," says Dr. Luis Serrano, director of the CRG.


Entrepreneurial Fellow programme: Biospark

The Milner Therapeutics Institute also runs an entrepreneurship training program to help participants make an informed decision about career paths in business and enterprise. Pre- and post-doctoral researchers from both IRB Barcelona and the CRG participated in the Biosparks programme.


About IRB Barcelona

The Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) pursues a society free of disease. To this end, it conducts multidisciplinary research of excellence to cure cancer and other diseases linked to ageing. It establishes technology transfer agreements with the pharmaceutical industry and major hospitals to bring research results closer to society, and organises a range of science outreach activities to engage the public in an open dialogue. IRB Barcelona is an international centre that hosts 400 researchers and more than 30 nationalities. Recognised as a Severo Ochoa Centre of Excellence since 2011, IRB Barcelona is a CERCA centre and member of the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST).