Leiden partnership to build a global innovative research and healthcare ecosystem

16 September 2020• PRESSRELEASE

Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC) and Leiden University signed a strategic partnership agreement with the pharmaceutical company Janssen on Wednesday 16 September. Over the next few years, the partners will collaborate at Leiden Bio Science Park in several different areas, including drug development for infectious diseases, innovative new methods of drug delivery and eHealth applications. They also intend to align their clinical processes and to pool their talents.

The agreement will intensify what is already a close relationship between the three parties, which have already worked together, mainly on drug development. LUMC’s Parasitology Department and the Centre for Human Drug Research (CHDR) are taking part in the phase 2 clinical trial of Janssen’s candidate coronavirus vaccine. LUMC’s Department of Medical Microbiology has also investigated the efficacy of the pharmaceutical company’s candidate vaccine.

Fighting infectious diseases

One of the aims of the partnership is to work on improving health and fighting infectious diseases worldwide. Coordinating clinical processes at LUMC and Janssen will make it possible to speed up and streamline clinical trials and drug testing, leading to new approaches in the battle to prevent, treat or cure diseases.

After signing the agreement, the partners will be able to use one another’s research facilities. Each of the partners manages large data files. Their challenge is to collaborate on analysing these data while adhering to all the pertinent laws and regulations, the aim being to speed up drug development but also to contribute to eHealth applications, for example.

Future drug delivery system

The partners also intend to work on developing new drug delivery systems. By joining forces, they will soon be able to organise almost every step in the drug development process from Leiden, from discovery and development to preclinical studies and clinical trials. This is one of the unique features of the Leiden ecosystem. For example, a new Janssen vaccine can be tested in the lab at Leiden University and undergo clinical trials at LUMC.

Sharing knowledge and staff

The partnership offers the employees of the three organisations excellent opportunities for talent management and competence development. It will, for example, become possible to arrange teacher, researcher and expert exchanges for educational purposes. The organisations are also considering joining forces in supervising master and postdoc projects, organising work placements and workplace visits, and developing talent profiles and job descriptions for future positions.

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