UCB and Harvard University announce new research alliance demonstrating how academia and industry team up with the interest of the patient in mind

UCB is teaming up with Harvard Medical School in an innovative collaboration for the third time in 18 months exemplifying once again how leaders in academia and industry are coupling together to advance the progress of medicine and, at the same time, serve the public interest.
Building upon the innovative Research Alliance signed by UCB and Harvard University in 2011, the project entitled “Mining the Human Microbiome” aims to develop new therapeutic applications in immunology with the harvesting of molecules in the human microbiome*. In addition to providing its expertise on antibody generation and medicinal chemistry, UCB (Brussels, Belgium), a company focused on the discovery and development of innovative solutions to treat diseases of the immune system and central nervous system, will provide up to $4.5 million over three years to fund this project. Professors of the Immunology Division of Harvard’s Department of Microbiology and Immunobiology will head the new research alliance project. Their team has designed an interdisciplinary project using recent technological advances that will allow them to “mine” the human microbiome in search of new molecules located in the intestine, hopefully leading to the development of possible new drugs to prevent or treat immunological diseases. Such a discovery could be of great potential for drug development and treatments if able to provide certain immune system function, therapeutic application and eventually preventative therapy.

With human microbiome one the most fascinating fields of research in modern science, hope is such that their collaborative discoveries will enable them to meet the current unmet health care needs that patients with immunological diseases are faced with today. Both UCB and Harvard have acknowledged the importance of such a continued alliance, highlighting the excellence in scientific research involved and the strength this innovative model will bring to advance scientific research from lab to clinic while maintaining the fundamental mission of serving the public interest.

Together these two institutions are a wonderful model of how academia and industry are teaming together in order to advance the progress of medicine in response to the needs of the patient.

Now that’s team spirit!

* A microbiome is the totality of microbes, their genetic elements (genomes), and environmental interactions in a particular environment.





France Nivelle, Global Communications, UCB
T +32 2 559 9178

Laurent Schots, Media Relations, UCB
T +32.2.559.9264



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