COLLABORATION

Open innovation is coming to British Columbia to boost disease research

SOURCE: Hush Naidoo/Unsplash
Medical dermatology company Leo Pharma has developed an Open Innovation platform to streamline molecular research processes.

Medical dermatology leader Leo Pharma has launched its Open Innovation platform to British Columbia in partnership with the University of Victoria (UVic), in efforts to streamline the process of molecular scientific research for the development of new disease treatments.

Open Innovation is a collaborative space created to explore partnerships and the latest research through open access to unique scientific resources, and will allow UVic students to be directly involved in the latest innovative and clinically-relevant research. 

This counters traditional corporate research collaborations that follow closed, stringent processes obligating partners to disclose confidential information (such as molecular structure) or to license intellectual property to Leo Pharma.

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Users of Leo Pharma’s Open Innovation platform will not need to do this. Instead, they will receive free access to disease-relevant in-vitro assays and insights to discover next-generation treatments for skin diseases such as psoriasis and atopic dermatitis.

The partnership with UVic means medical research students can reap the benefits of the platform to design and create novel molecules to be tested. With this, students will be able to experience real-life medical research advancements as they happen.

Leo Pharma recently provided a unique training opportunity for UVic medicinal chemistry students to test their developed molecules on the Open Innovation platform, further emphasising its benefits to their studies.

Open Innovation
The partnership opens new opportunities for UVic students to be part of current medical research. Source: Science in HD/Unsplash.

UVic chemistry professor and project lead Jeremy Wulff said in a media release that the partnership benefits the university by creating new and innovative research opportunities as well as providing students with valuable industry-relevant training. 

“Students get a hands-on chance to create and test molecules to find next-generation treatments for skin diseases like psoriasis and eczema,” said Wulff.

“They also get to learn how a global, pharmaceutical company operates, which gives them an integrated, dynamic learning opportunity while studying at UVic.” 

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This partnership will hopefully open up new dimensions in medical research by offering a more streamlined platform to exchange knowledge and research outcomes, bridging the expertise and resources between universities and industry players. 

“Leo Pharma hopes to set a new standard for collaborations and hopes others in the industry will follow,” said Leo Pharma Head of Open Innovation, Niclas Nilsson in the same report. 

“LEO Pharma is committed to bringing innovative solutions to patients in Canada, as well as advancing life sciences through investments in clinical trials across Canada, including within British Columbia. We hope to fuel innovation in medical dermatology and help others see the value of public-private partnerships,” said Leo Pharma Canada President Kristian Fick. 

The launch of the partnership was announced earlier this month at the Open Innovation: Collaborative Partnerships seminar.

The program will be part of Leo Pharma’s existing global research and development initiatives powered by more than 750 scientists.

Together, they collaborate with partners to develop new innovations to develop topical, biological and systemic treatments for people with skin diseases.