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Yale, Gilead Sciences to Collaborate on Cancer Therapies

DNA strand (NSF)

(James. J. Caras, National Science Foundation)

Gilead Sciences Inc., a biopharmaceutical company in Foster City, California and Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut agreed on a multi-year research collaboration for the discovery of new cancer therapies. Gilead will have the first option to license Yale’s findings that result from the collaboration.

The research effort will initially span four years with an option to renew for up to ten years. Gilead will provide $40 million in research support and basic science infrastructure during the initial four-year period, and will provide up to $100 million over the next ten years should the collaboration be extended.

Yale and Gilead are expected to research the genetic basis and underlying molecular mechanisms of many forms of cancer. Scientists from both organizations will identify new molecular targets that provide a better understanding of the basis of disease and make possible development of new therapies. The new therapies will likely include those that overcome drug resistance that afflicts some cancer patients treated with current targeted therapies.

Research projects will be chosen by a joint steering committee chaired by Joseph Schlessinger, chair of Yale’s Department of Pharmacology. The science team will also include Thomas Lynch, director of Yale’s Cancer Center, who has worked in personalized treatments for cancer patients.

The Yale Center for Genome Analysis will analyze the DNA of a variety of tumor types to look for genetic mutations associated with cancers. Schlessinger’s team will use that data to understand effects of the gene mutations on cancer and to identify ways to intervene in the disease process, such as identifying small molecules that will serve as the basis of new cancer therapies.

Read more: Sanofi-Aventis to Support UCSF Research Program

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