News Column

University BioParks Serve as Source of Innovation as Pharmaceutical R&D Model Shifts

May 14, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Biotech Week -- In the face of rising drug research and development costs and continued pressures against increasing prices for medicines and health care services, the biopharmaceutical industry must find ways to increase innovation and efficiencies. The Association of University Research Parks (AURP) announced that leaders from industry and academia will come together at the Janssen Research & Development West Coast Research Center in San Diego on June 23, 2014, for AURP's BioParks 2014 Meeting. Participants will address recent shifts in pharmaceutical R&D models and the role bioparks play in this evolution (see also Association of University Research Parks).

"Research parks play a vital role in fostering collaboration between universities and the private sector. While this is important across all research-based industries, the need for such collaboration is absolutely critical in the biopharmaceutical space," said Kevin T. Byrne, MBA, AURP President, and President, The University Financing Foundation.

In recent years, bioparks - which are usually based at or near major research universities - have become ideal locations for start-up companies spinning out of universities and for contract manufacturing and clinical organizations, as well as fertile collaboration grounds for large pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer, Merck, Bayer and Johnson & Johnson. In bioparks, small biotech companies can share resources and ideas, large pharmaceutical companies can create partnerships with several smaller entities, and contract organizations can support the internal biopharma R&D efforts.

"There are diverse push/pull strategies evident in the relationships today among big pharmas, small biotechs, universities," said Michael Rosen, Senior Vice President, New Business Development, Forest City Science & Technology Group. "Large pharmaceutical companies look to not only capture new technologies coming out of universities or small biotechs, they seek out the culture of innovation thriving in bioparks. Meanwhile, universities are developing new models to attract big pharmas to their parks and to encourage those companies to engage with the start-ups spinning out of the universities. Bioparks are truly at the crossroads of collaboration and co-location."

During the AURP BioParks conference, featured speakers such as Richard A. Lindberg, PhD, Executive Director and Head of the Centers for Therapeutic Innovation - California (CTI-California), Pfizer Inc, and W. Mark Crowell, Executive Director, U.VA. Innovation; Associate Vice President for Research, University of Virginia, will share how big pharma's approach to drug development is evolving, the new model of "Centers of Innovation" as a preferred means of accessing new technologies, and how opportunities for university collaboration and partnership are abundant and growing.

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The BIO International Convention, which will be held in San Diego from June 23 to 26, is the largest, most influential global event for the biotechnology industry and regularly attracts the biggest names in biotech, offers key networking and partnering opportunities, and provides insights and inspiration on the major trends affecting the industry. The event features keynotes and sessions from leading policymakers, scientists, and CEOs. The Convention also offers the chance to connect with thousands of companies through BIO One-on-One Partnering™ meetings as well as the world's largest biotechnology exhibition - the BIO Exhibition. More information is available at

Keywords for this news article include: Biotechnology, Drugs, Therapy, Biopharmaceuticals, Association of University Research Parks.

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Source: Biotech Week

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