UTHealth, Purdue Pharma Enter Long-Term Research & Education Alliance


HOUSTON and STAMFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston(UTHealth) and Purdue Pharma L.P. have entered into a specialized alliance to bring academic researchers at UTHealth and drug developers from Purdue Pharma closer together with the common goals of accelerating the development of new drug therapies for patients while advancing the science and providing unique educational experiences for both parties. The alliance will promote, develop and expand research and education in the areas of pain, neuroscience and other chronic diseases.

The alliance will kick off in early December 2016 with leaders from UTHealth and Purdue Pharma attending a scientific symposium at UTHealth on UTHealth’s campus in the Texas Medical Center. UTHealth researchers will highlight key capabilities as well as research activities already underway as part of this new alliance. Purdue Pharma also will share an overview of capabilities. As part of this long-term partnership, multiple special topics symposia will be organized to create opportunities for scientific exchanges and personal interactions between the organizations.

“There is a long-standing desire and motivation within industry and academia to work together more closely for the benefit of patients,” said Don Kyle, Ph.D., vice president for Discovery Research at Purdue Pharma. “In this alliance, we share a common vision for a new paradigm that will connect researchers across disciplines, lower traditional barriers between industry and academics, and create unique educational experiences for students and trainees in the process. It is very exciting for us to align in this way with the distinguished faculty, staff and students at UTHealth.”

Melissa Thompson, Ph.D., of UTHealth’s Office of Strategic Industry Initiatives has worked closely with Purdue Pharma to establish this innovative alliance to work together on research that can lead to new product development.

“This new relationship has been structured in a way to cultivate innovation, and will enhance opportunities for drug development and commercialization efforts beyond tradition collaborative models by partnering early on in the discovery process, as well as creating more synergistic collaborations in the preclinical and clinical settings,” said Bruce D. Butler, Ph.D., vice president of Research and Technology at UTHealth.

UTHealth and Purdue Pharma will have opportunities to work together on research that may lead to new product development.

“Industry and academic partnerships like these are important to broaden access to technology, differing perspectives for problem solving as well as shared risks and rewards,” said Alan W. Dunton, M.D., senior vice president and head of Research & Development at Purdue Pharma. “Our Research & Development team is continually working to understand the pathophysiology of these diseases so we can identify new ways to develop and investigate potential therapies. Working with an institution with the research experience and capabilities of UTHealth will enhance our ability to accomplish this important goal.”

The partnership also includes a new Purdue Pharma Scholar program with funding for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who are conducting research in pain, neuroscience or other adjacent areas of chronic disease. Purdue Pharma research leaders will work with the Scholars and Scholars may also have the opportunity to visit Purdue Pharma facilities. It is anticipated that Scholars and other affiliated researchers will present their research at an annual Purdue Pharma Research Conference at UTHealth, which will be attended by UTHealth and Purdue scientists and leaders.

“This is a valuable opportunity for UTHealth investigators across our campus to collaborate on projects that will lead to important new discoveries, and we’re excited to partner with Purdue Pharma - a recognized global leader in pioneering research, products and medical programs,” added Michael Blackburn, Ph.D., executive vice president and chief academic officer at UTHealth. “Including our graduate students and other trainees in this collaborative relationship provides invaluable experiences in research training and the discovery process at UTHealth.”

About Purdue Pharma L.P.

Purdue Pharma L.P. is a privately-held pharmaceutical company and is part of a global network of independent associated companies that is known for pioneering research in chronic pain and opioids with abuse deterrent properties. The company’s leadership and employees are committed to providing healthcare professionals, patients and caregivers quality products and educational resources to support their proper use. Purdue Pharma is engaged in the research, development, production and distribution of both prescription and over-the-counter medicines and hospital products. With Purdue Pharma’s expertise in drug development, commercialization and life-cycle management, the company is diversifying in high-need areas to expand through strategic acquisitions and creative partnerships. For more information, please visit www.purduepharma.com or follow the company on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

About The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth)

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) was established in 1972 as Houston’s health university. The most comprehensive academic health center in The UT System and the U.S. Gulf Coast region, UTHealth is home to the John P. and Kathrine G. McGovern Medical School and schools of biomedical informatics, graduate biomedical sciences, dentistry, nursing and public health. UTHealth educates more health care professionals than any health-related institution in the State of Texas and features the nation’s sixth-largest medical school and the highest ranked nursing graduate school in Texas. It also includes a psychiatric hospital and a growing network of clinics throughout the region. The university’s primary teaching hospitals include Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center, Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital and Harris Health Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital. For more information, visit www.uth.edu.

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