Israel’s Teva says it will invest US$20 million in clinical trials and US$1 million in a dementia-research programme in the UK.

The announcement was made during a visit to Israel by UK Prime Minister David Cameron.

As part of the agreement, the National Institute for Health Research’s (NIHR) Office for Clinical Research Infrastructure (NOCR) will facilitate Teva’s access to NIHR Biomedical Research Centres and Research Units working in the dementia field and to the NIHR Translational Research Collaboration in Dementia.   

The Collaboration was set up under the national dementia challenge, whereby the Cameron government pledged in March 2012 to more than double annual funding for research into dementia and neurodegenerative diseases to over £66 million by 2014/15.

The Translational Research Collaboration pools the resources and expertise of NIHR Biomedical Research Centres and Units to develop improved treatments and care for patients with dementia, as well as dementia-related conditions such as Parkinson’s disease. 

Translational-research infrastructure

Teva will benefit from the NIHR’s translational-research infrastructure and its ability to set up and deliver clinical trials quickly and efficiently, as well as from access to well-characterised cohorts of patients in the UK’s National Health Service.

The company’s president of global R&D and chief scientific officer, Dr Michael Hayden, outlined the new initiative in the presence of Cameron, Israel Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, and Teva’s president and chief executive officer, Erez Vigodman, at a special UK-Israel Tech Hub at the British Embassy Israel event held at Teva’s site in Jerusalem.

Teva has an extensive clinical-stage pipeline under development globally. Drawing on the NIHR infrastructure, it will put around US$20 million into running clinical trials with that pipeline in the UK.

Dementia-research programme

Under a three-year dementia-research programme, the company will also provide funding of up to US$1 million for early-stage work in UK academic and medical centres.

These efforts will focus on understanding targets, mechanisms and new treatment approaches for different causes and types of dementia. Teva will retain the right to negotiate licences to any drug targets that emerge from the collaboration.

“The relationship between Teva, Israel and the UK is a long and fruitful one and I am proud that we can now add another example of us working together as partners for innovation and health,” Dr Hayden commented.