UK group Oxford Sciences Innovation (OSI), which funds businesses stemming from science and technology research at Oxford University, has announced a "pioneering partnership" with pharma giant Celgene.

The broad aim of the alliance is to accelerate cutting-edge drug discovery that can "deliver new life-changing treatments to patients and transform healthcare at large".

Details of the partnership remain on the thin side, but that is primarily because it is in the very early stages with no specific areas of work yet selected, a spokesperson told PharmaTimes.

It was revealed, however, that Celgene will gain certain option rights under the collaboration.

"This partnership with Celgene is a pioneering model for how collaboration with industry can deliver innovative treatment options to patients," said Sir John Bell, Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford University. "I am confident that projects like this have the potential to profoundly enhance medical research and improve global healthcare."

Also commenting on the alliance, Rupert Vessey, president of Research and Early Development at Celgene, said it is "a paradigm-changing opportunity that broadens and strengthens the innovative ecosystem".

"We remain committed to driving critical advances in cancer and immune-inflammatory diseases and believe the tremendous potential and expertise of our collaboration with Oxford Sciences Innovation can help change the course of human health through bold pursuits in science in the interest of the patients we serve."