Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited is the latest industry recruit to the Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC), an open-source public-private partnership for drug discovery based at the Universities of Toronto in Canada and Oxford in the UK.  

Takeda’s contribution brings up to $50 million the financial support for the SGC from six leading pharmaceutical companies, including GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, Eli Lilly and Pfizer, which collaborate with 200 scientists from academia on pre-competitive research (made available without patents or other restrictions) to facilitate the development of new medicines.

The Structural Genomics Consortium is also funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), Genome Canada, Ontario’s Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation (MEDI) and the UK’s Wellcome Trust.

Significant increase

The addition of Takeda to the pharmaceutical company roster marks a significant increase in industry funding for the SGC from the previous four years, when companies provided a total of $13 million, the Consortium and Takeda noted.

Joining the SGC’s research network will help Takeda to promote its drug discovery efforts by accessing new research first-hand, they pointed out. The company can also influence the research direction of the Consortium by participating in the SGC Scientific Committee and its board of directors.

“This is a strong endorsement of a novel business model, which relies on collaboration to share the risks of early-stage research and reduce costs of drug discovery so we can get effective new medicines to market faster, and into the hands of physicians and patients sooner,”commented Aled Edwards, Canada-based chief executive of the SGC.

3-D proteins

The Consortium’s core mandate is determining and mapping the three-dimensional structure of human proteins on a large scale and cost-effectively – both human proteins of biomedical importance and proteins from human parasites that represent potential drug targets.