GlaxoSmithKline has teamed up with Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute to study brain function and seek out new therapeutic targets for neurological disorders.

The SBP-GSK Center for Translational Neuroscience, located on the non-profit research orgnaisation’s campus in La Jolla, California, will bring together experts from both parties to investigate factors influencing brain function and potentially reverse or slow down neurodegeneration, with the aim of identifying and validating new therapeutic targets. 

Under the three-year alliance, the UK-headquartered drugs giant will provide funding to create and support a research lab, to house SBP scientists, postdoctoral candidates and technicians working alongside neuroscientists from GSK.

Explaining the strategy behind the move, SBP highlighted the lack the effective therapies to prevent or treat dementia and other neurodegenerative conditions, and that just eight percent of experimental treatments that reach the testing stage in humans make it past the finish line. 

The new Center “aims to increase this success rate by improving the translation of disease biology to drug discovery through a successful collaboration that drives synergistic innovation,” it said.

“Neurodegenerative diseases cross many fields of science, and this partnership takes full advantage of the depth and breadth in expertise both organisations bring to the table,” added Min Li, global head of neurosciences at GSK. 

“Joining with a top-tier academic institution like SBP located in a high-density area of talent and elite research will also enhance our agility, enable us to move projects forward rapidly, and further support the discovery of new medicines for neurodegenerative diseases.”