Drug Discovery Collaborations between Academia and the Pharmaceutical Industry: Cultural Factors, Intellectual Property Considerations, Case Studies, and Future Trends

Date: July 22, 2010
Pages: 161
US$ 3,835.00
Publisher: Business Insights
Report type: Strategic Report
Delivery: E-mail Delivery (PDF)

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Drug Discovery Collaborations between Academia and the Pharmaceutical Industry: Cultural Factors, Intellectual Property Considerations, Case Studies, and Future Trends
The pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industries are engaged in a business environment which is witnessing a dramatic escalation of R&D costs, key patent expiries, and sustained high attrition rates for new molecules in development.

In response, pharmaceutical companies have recognized the need to expand the range of creative stimuli for their research processes in order to reinvigorate their drug discovery pipelines. Consequently the industry has sought to develop external collaborations not only with other companies but also more frequently with academia, to obtain access to new technologies to enhance their drug discovery capabilities and to in-license candidates for further development. Indeed, collaboration is becoming an essential component of today’s drug discovery efforts and it is commonly undertaken with multiple partners through an often iterative, continuous, and long lasting process, which adds to the complexity of efficiently managing both the collaboration itself and the data generated.

This report explores the opportunities and challenges that are presented by collaboration with university researchers as well as identifying the key inputs from both the industrial and academic partners. The different organizational cultures and structures are examined along with consideration of the goals for each institution and the issues these create. The report discusses the various types of agreement which can be used, highlights legislation of importance to the appropriate protection of intellectual property, and presents case studies of notable collaborations In addition the report offers thoughts on the future for collaborative agreements and the benefits they will bring to both parties.

Key features of the report
  • Describes the different types of collaboration between academia and the pharmaceutical/biopharmaceutical industries, the cultural issues and organizational conflicts presented by these forms of collaborations, and the management processes required to overcome these challenges.
  • Reviews the international and national legislation governing the intellectual property rights for owners of the technology (the university) and the technology transfer partner that will exploit the technology (the pharmaceutical industry)..
  • Identifies a variety of different collaborative agreements and groups these into two main categories
  • Provides a number of case studies illustrating the important features of these collaborations, the practical implications and complexity of the agreements reached, and the pitfalls encountered in some cases.
  • Focuses on the evolving nature of collaborations between the pharmaceutical industry and academic institutions, developing the emerging themes and exploring the opportunities for drug discovery using novel collaborative models and approaches.

Key benefits of the report
  • Provides the executive with an insight into the complex nature of the issues and challenges facing both academia and the industry when establishing the terms and conditions of any collaborative agreement together with the problems associated with the differences in management styles and cultures of individual parties in the collaboration.
  • Describes the methods used to identify a suitable collaboration candidate and helps the reader to understand the factors that affect partner selection and the dynamics of the resulting network.
  • Highlights the problems associated with knowledge and technology transfer between collaborating partners as well as the common challenges to be overcome before companies are able to exploit the new technologies.
  • Identifies and describes the various emerging quasi institutions, such as research clusters, that take advantage of developments in communication technologies.
  • Provides an insight into the future of academic–industry collaborations and the importance that information and communication technologies is having on the development of the next generation of collaborative partnerships.

Key highlights

While academic institutions have attempted to remain true to the principles of open inquiry and intellectual freedom, political-economic forces such as globalization, an increasingly conservative political agenda, a tightening of public financial support for higher education and their changing role in society have resulted in the emergence of the corporate and entrepreneurial universities.

The traditional view that there should be separation between the “ivory tower” academic based sciences and the more commercial and applied developmental research conducted in industry is now obsolete. Instead there is considerable synergy between basic research carried out in academia and applied research that is undertaken in the pharmaceutical industry.

Major collaborations have a broad range of stakeholders, and failure to take all viewpoints into account can lead to significant opposition which ultimately may undermine the value of the partnership to both parties. Both the exact terms of the agreement and the presentation of those terms to the wider community are of crucial importance to a successful collaboration.

Key questions answered by this report
  • What are the key drivers influencing change to a more collaborative approach to R&D in the pharmaceutical industry?
  • What are the latest developments in the collaborative approach to R&D and which models represent the best opportunities for the pharmaceutical industry.
  • What are the issues and concerns over the evolving collaborative R&D paradigms?
  • What are the intellectual property management issues that should be considered by each party?
  • Which changes in patent legislation are of greatest relevance to the formation of collaborations in different countries?
  • What are the different types of academia–industry collaborations?
  • What are the pros and cons for each party in academia–industry collaborations?
  • What are the critical success factors for academia–industry collaborations?
  • What are the main factors to take into account when negotiating academia–industry collaborations?
  • What are the cultural, change management and goal alignment challenges?
  • What are the future directions for academia–industry collaborations?
Drug Discovery Collaborations between Academia and the Pharmaceutical Industry: Cultural factors, intellectual property considerations, case studies, and future trends
Executive summary
Background to collaborative research agreements
Critical issues for effective collaborations
Management of intellectual property rights
Case studies
The future of collaborations, licensing, and alliances


Innovation and innovation models
The closed innovation model
The open innovation model
Consequences of the open innovation model
Intellectual property (IP) protection and open innovation
Types of collaborations
Sponsored research projects (SPR) contract research
Industry mentors for postdoctoral fellows
Gifts from companies for unrestricted research support
Research centers, industry affiliated programs, or consortia
Use of university laboratories, facilities, and centers by company researchers
Technological licensing and start-up venture creation
Advantages of collaborations between academia and industry
Advantages for academia
Advantages for the pharmaceutical industry
Disadvantages of collaborations between academia and industry
Disadvantages for academia
Practical difficulties in negotiating and managing a collaboration
Deleterious effects on faculty and students
Affect on the university reputation and financial challenges
Disadvantages for the pharmaceutical industry
Commercial interests are a low priority amongst academics
Discord regarding intellectual property rights
Types of collaboration agreements
One-to-one research collaborative agreements
Model consortium agreements
Identification of suitable collaborators and research partners
Strategic fit
Impact on internal strengths and weaknesses
Impact on strategic direction
Critical factors for successful collaboration resource planning
Clear support from senior management
Dedicated project management for each collaboration team
Complimentary strategy for both entities involved in the collaboration
Commitment to time and financial resources
Commitment to a supportive environment that fosters innovation
Assimilation of new knowledge by the sponsoring pharmaceutical company
Formulation of a well-defined collaboration agreement
Understanding the drafting of contractual terms and conditions
Definitions of the agreement
Collaboration agreement outline
Negotiating the terms and conditions of an agreement
Academic institution considerations
Pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industry considerations
License agreements
Upfront payments or signing fees
Annual or other periodic fees
Milestone payments
Duration and termination


Cultural, change management, and goal alignment challenges
Organizational culture
The culture of academia
Pharmaceutical industry corporate culture
Corporate management and research collaborations
Management of open innovation and open science disclosure procedures
Lack of transparency between collaborating partners
Mismatch in time scales between academic study and commercial drive for results
Managing conflict and bridging cultural gaps between collaborating partners
Difference in research questions addressed by academia and industry
Effectiveness and efficiency of knowledge management and knowledge transfer
Institutional incentives and integration of research and educational missions
University reward and incentive structures
Potential misuse of student time and conflicts of interest
Payment of indirect costs incurred by the university
Goal alignment challenges in research collaborations
Challenges associated with technology and knowledge transfer
Challenges associated with the knowledge transfer process
Challenges associated with the technology transfer process


Intellectual property rights and national policy considerations
WTO Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)
The Bayh-Dole Act in the US
The Cooperative Research and Technology Enhancement (CREATE) Act
European position on patents and intellectual property protection
Intellectual property protection issues in Brazil
Russian legislation to strengthen regulation of pharmaceutical IP
Latest regulatory and legislative changes in India
Patent laws and WTO TRIPS in China
R&D collaborations and the uncertainty of intellectual property rights
The duration of patent examinations
Economic and strategic uncertainty for the industry
Uncertainties over publication of proprietary knowledge by academics
Uncertainties over disclosure of unprotected information
Conducting R&D in countries with weak IPR protection
Negotiating and bargaining associated with IPR
Protection of trade secrets
Protection of patentable IP


AstraZeneca and the University of Virginia
Review of the collaboration by AstraZeneca
Management of IP and entrepreneurial activities at UVa
AstraZeneca optimizes collaboration through interoperable technologies
Roche and the Translational Medicine Research Hub in Singapore
Management of IP and entrepreneurial activities at A*STAR
Industry collaboration with the University of Dundee and the Medical
Research Council (MRC)
Management of IP and entrepreneurial activities at DSTT
Partnership of Sanofi-Aventis with the French Life Sciences and
Healthcare Alliance (AVIESAN)
Collaborative alliance between GlaxoSmithKline and the Harvard Stem
Cell Institute (HSCI)
Other GSK collaborations
Problematic collaborations
The Scripps Research Institute and Novartis
The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI)
Novartis AG
Collaboration Agreement between TSRI and Novartis
The Scripps Research Institute and Pfizer
The University of California Berkeley (UCB) and Novartis Agricultural
Discovery Institute, Inc (NADII)
Controversial aspects


Changing paradigms in traditional universities
The evolution of the corporate university
The emergence and evolution of the entrepreneurial university
Synergy between ivory tower academics and entrepreneurial scientists
The emergence and growth of research clusters and incubator hubs
Institutional changes to European university practices
Science parks
Incubator or enterprise hub models
Virtual incubators
The Triple Helix model of university–industry–government
Methodology statement
Primary data and information gathering
Secondary data and information gathering
Glossary of abbreviations and acronyms


Figure 1.1: The current paradigm: a closed innovation system
Figure 1.2: An open innovation system
Figure 1.3: Schematic model illustrating knowledge spillover
Figure 2.4: The traditional management process
Figure 2.5: The university/company knowledge transfer process
Figure 2.6: The technology transfer process
Figure 3.7: Average duration of US patent applications pendency
Figure 3.8: The European patent applications grant procedure
Figure 3.9: Patent option value
Figure 5.10: Typology of faculty views of academia-industry relationships
Figure 5.11: Queen’s University Belfast pharmaceutical research cluster
Figure 5.12: Effect of legislative changes on university governance in Europe
Figure 5.13: Evolution of the technology business incubator model
Figure 5.14: Schematic of the Triple Helix model


Table 1.1: The project checklist
Table 1.2: Financial contribution (from the sponsor) and external funding
Table 1.3: Checklist for participants’ background information
Table 1.4: IPR of project results
Table 1.5: Confidentiality and academic publication
Table 1.6: Liability
Table 2.7: Academic versus industry management approach
Table 3.8: US legislation governing patenting and transfer of federally funded R&D
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