Universities and big pharma embrace early-phase deals

Engineering new pharmaceuticals is risky, achingly slow and astronomically expensive. In search of better ways to defray those costs and speed the path to success, Chicago's elite research universities are partnering with the major pharmaceutical companies, ushering in a new era of early-phase collaboration, writes Brigid Sweeney for Crain’s Chicago Business.

In the past, places like the University of Chicago have been better known for their theoretical contributions to science, while pharma has been focused on profit-driven applied research. But the scope of deals is widening as both sides face increasing pressure.

Public funding for academic research has declined over the past decade, with more cuts likely on the horizon under President Donald Trump, while private companies are facing shrinking R&D budgets and drying drug pipelines. Open-ended, early-stage partnerships are more complicated and riskier than late-stage sure bets – but the payoff is potentially huge.
Full report on the Crain’s Chicago Business site