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Open Access Editorial

Value that industrial collaborations bring to research and education efforts in universities: perspective of a professor working in the field of development of therapeutic proteins

John F Carpenter

Author Affiliations

Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Center for Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO, 80045, USA

Human Genomics 2013, 7:7  doi:10.1186/1479-7364-7-7

Published: 5 March 2013

First paragraph (this article has no abstract)

The development (ā€œDā€ in ā€œR&Dā€) component for therapeutic protein products includes efforts to understand and improve bioprocessing methods (e.g., filling pump operation for vials and syringes, freeze-drying to create more stable product), product degradation pathways, and rational means to improve protein stability, new analytical methods, drug delivery methods, and investigation of key product parameters affecting product safety and efficacy. Research in these areas occurs in pharmaceutical companies and in universities. Often in companies, the focus is on doing the work that is needed to get a given product into clinical trials and on the market, whereas in universities, the focus is usually on more fundamental, mechanistic understanding of key issues such as factors causing protein aggregation and how to characterize and minimize this type of degradation. Therefore, there are numerous natural, synergistic collaborations between pharmaceutical companies and academic researchers, which provide for more rapid advancement of the field and relevant education of students than if the two groups worked independently. There is a long tradition of such productive and valuable collaborations between industry scientists and professors in pharmaceutical sciences departments. For this commentary, based on my two decades of experience with such collaborations, I will describe my views on the advantages of such partnerships and some of the pitfalls.