Eli Lilly has paid $1.27 million to become the founding private partner of a new partnership between the US and Russia designed to encourage collaboration on shared priorities in health related research.

The US-Russia Health Sciences Forum is a public-private partnership established through the Foundation for National Institutes for Health, with the idea that opening up a new channel of focused biomedical research collaboration between the two countries can ultimately help improve public health and save lives.

It is envisaged that the new programme will help advance biomedical research and strengthen disease control and prevention, clinical and translational research, manufacturing practices and regulatory science, as well as emerging healthcare technologies in both nations.

One aspect of the partnership is the creation of a new scientific forum to establish a network for information exchange across US and Russian government agencies, research groups and other partners involved in biomedical and behavioural research, and an annual symposium will help identify new ways to further facilitate joint research, bridge the gap between research and practice and make the most of new discoveries.

Scott Campbell, executive director and chief executive of the Foundation for NIH, expressed his delight at the “significant collaboration” between US and Russian biomedical research communities. “Communication and information sharing among scientific health entities are central to overcoming complexities and transforming medicine in new and creative ways by leveraging joint research, technology, data and experiences,” he said.

Also commenting on the initiative, Gail Cassell, vice president of scientific affairs at Lilly, said its creation is “founded on the belief that people from different corners of the pharmaceutical and healthcare world will overcome their differences and come together when confronted with a global threat”.

The science partnership was formed under the framework of the US-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission and draws on several agreements between scientific and health agencies in both countries to work together on topics such as disease control and prevention and the development of new therapies.