UCB has expanded its global satellite research site strategy by signing a three year research and development collaboration agreement with King’s College London, UK.

Leading UCB and King’s scientists will work together on site at the Guy’s Campus - where King’s is developing a Biotech Hub - to optimise collective expertise in effectively translating basic research and clinical insights into impactful treatments for patients with unmet medical needs.

The aim is that the collaboration will initially focus on the progression of one novel and innovative medicine into human clinical studies by the beginning of 2020.

The news builds on the company’s recent announcement to invest up to £1 billion over five years to renew and enhance its major R&D hub in the UK, and furthers UCB’s strategy of complementing R&D activity undertaken in its two major international research hubs in Belgium and the UK, with smaller satellite facilities that locate industry scientists in innovative environments conducive to building new capabilities.

Dhaval Patel, executive vice president and chief scientific officer, UCB said, “At UCB we are proud of both our heritage in the UK and our recent Sector Deal announcement. One of the incentives for us to commit to keeping our major R&D site in the UK last year - on top of the UK’s vibrant life sciences environment - was the potential to build upon our numerous active collaborations with UK universities.

“We are therefore thrilled to be able to announce this new collaboration with King’s, which we believe will further augment our collective research and development capabilities in the pursuit of innovative new medicines for patients, to solidify our position as a leader in UK life sciences.”