Belgian drugmaker UCB and Houston, Texas-based Baylor College of Medicine have formed a strategic research alliance to discover new therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases.

UCB said the research programme is aligned with its strategic focus on the discovery of medicines targeting pathways with a high level of genetic and human validation, and also falls within its wider aim of accelerating discovery and development of transformational therapeutics through partnerships with leading academics.

Professor Huda Zoghbi, who will lead the research at Baylor, and her collaborators have “world leading capabilities” in using functional genetics to identify therapeutic points of intervention for new medicines, the groups noted.

“We cannot accelerate discovery of transformational medicines and create value for patients if we work alone. That is why we have been creating super networks with high quality scientific partners, combining insights from patients with deep understanding of disease mechanisms,” explained Ismail Kola, who heads up UCB’s New Medicines unit. 

“This strategic research alliance brings together Huda Zoghbi’s world class research with our high quality R&D teams to discover medicines based on genetically validated targets that could transform the lives of people living with severe neurodegenerative disease.”

Further details on the deal were not revealed.