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Milner Therapeutics Institute Announces New Partnership With Japanese Pharmaceutical Company Shionogi

CAMBRIDGE, England, June 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --

- Shionogi Joins Consortium Members Astex, AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline 

- Shionogi's First Research Consortium Outside Japan and First Major Research Investment in the UK  

The Milner Therapeutics Consortium (Milner), the outreach programme of the Milner Therapeutics Institute, today announces Shionogi as a new partner joining the consortium. Dr Takeshi Shiota, Senior Vice President, Pharmaceutical Research Division at Shionogi has joined the consortium's Innovation Board along with representatives from other consortium members Astex, AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, University of Cambridge, Babraham Institute and Sanger Institute.

The Milner Therapeutics Consortium acts as a 'match-making' service between pharmaceutical companies and researchers in Cambridge and was established in 2015. The consortium brings together the drug development capability of pharmaceutical companies with the know-how of entire academic institutions in Cambridge and has been specifically modelled to facilitate the speedy exchange of resources and information between partners through a pre-signed agreement. Company partners are able to work individually with academics or through joint activities in order to accelerate drug development. The consortium's Innovation Board includes companies and academic partners and is responsible for overseeing the strategic direction, collective research funding and collaborative activities.

In the last two months, 18 companies have become affiliated with the Milner Therapeutics Institute including Charles River Laboratories.

Commenting on the announcement, Prof Tony Kouzarides, founder and director of the Milner Therapeutics Institute and Consortium said: "We are building the foundations for a world-leading hub in Cambridge around the Milner Therapeutics Institute. We are very pleased that Shionogi has become a consortium partner demonstrating that the consortium works on a truly global scale and that companies can collaborate with scientists in Cambridge even if they do not have research sites in the UK. Momentum is gathering around the Institute as eighteen companies, including Charles River Laboratories, have become affiliated in the last few weeks and we have interest from many more."

Dr Takeshi Shiota Senior Vice President, Pharmaceutical Research Division at Shionogi added: "The Milner Therapeutics Consortium offers access to exceptional science and collaborative opportunities at Cambridge University, and we are delighted to join as a founding member. This is the first research consortium that we have joined outside Japan and our first major research investment in the UK.

"Shionogi is one of the oldest research based pharmaceutical companies in Japan, founded in 1878. With research as the number one priority, we have discovered a number of innovative and life-saving medicines such as rosuvastatin (Crestor) and dolutegravir (Tivicay). In Japan, we are the leading proponent of open academic collaboration and have set up alliances with a number of national universities."

The Consortium is seeking academic and industrial partners. They will be holding an annual Milner Therapeutics Symposium to showcase the latest research and bring academia and industry together. Prof Tony Kouzarides will also be giving a series of short talks around Cambridge to highlight opportunities for academics to collaborate with pharmaceutical and biotech companies, facilitated by the Milner Institute. The talks will be followed by informal networking.

20 June 2016 - 4pm Lecture Theatre, Department of Pharmacology, central Cambridge

22 June 2016 - 12pm C303, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute

23 June 2016 - 4pm Lecture Theatre, CRUK Cambridge Institute, Li Ka Shing Centre, Biomedical Campus

29 June 2016 - 4pm Brian Heap Seminar room, Babraham Research Campus

For further information on how to join the consortium, please contact

About Milner Therapeutics Consortium 

The Milner Therapeutics Consortium (Milner) consists of four major pharmaceutical companies, (Astex, AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline and Shionogi) and three academic centres (University of Cambridge, Babraham Institute and Sanger Institute). A Consortium agreement is in place to facilitate rapid exchange of reagents and information between partners in all therapeutic areas. Pharmaceutical partners use set aside funds and use the Consortium agreement to collaborate with scientists in the academic centres. The Consortium is the outreach program of the Milner Therapeutics Institute which is under construction on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus and will open early in 2018.

New research collaborations as a result of the consortium include AstraZeneca and Prof Carlos Caldas at the University of Cambridge to investigate how different sub-types of breast cancer respond to different treatments; and Astex and Dr Simon Cook at the Babraham Institute to investigate the significance of modulation of the ERK pathway in cell lines and consequences for cancer cell growth inhibition and adaptive resistance.

The Milner also has an affiliated company partnership scheme to engage with small and medium size companies that are technology or service providers or have drug development pipelines themselves. The 18 Affiliated companies are: Charles River Laboratories, Cancer Research Technology, Definigen, Eagle Genomics, Healx, Horizon Discovery, Linguamatics, Modiquest, Nemesis Bioscience, Phoremost, Promega, Sphere Fluidics, Abcam, Proximagen, Active Motif, Repositive, Cambridge Epigenetix and O2h. For more information please see the website

Kathryn Chapman, PhD
Executive Manager, Milner Therapeutics Consortium

Hume Brophy
Supriya Mathur, Elle Kress
Phone: +44 (0) 207 862 6387

SOURCE Milner Therapeutics Consortium
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