Roche has also mirrored this collaborative approach internally – recognising the strength in fostering diverse scientific approaches from the Roche Pharma Research and Early Development (pRED) team and the Genentech Research and Early Development (gRED) team. This allows an even more diversified profile of expertise to feed into therapy development in this project and beyond.
To kick off the collaboration with the Weill Neurohub, some of the initial areas of interest include developing CRISPR gene editing based therapeutics, integrating functional genomics and proteomics to systematically understand genetic variants and cellular mechanisms linked to neurodegeneration, and understanding how protein degradation could be beneficial to treating diseases like AD, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Huntington’s Disease and Autism.
Dr Stephen Hauser, Prof. of Neurology and Director, UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences, concludes: “this is an ideal partnership for us. It builds on our long history of close collaboration, and creates a new model for translational science that brings academia and industry together. We’re thrilled to join with our colleagues at Genentech and Roche on this new initiative to speed development of much needed therapies for disabling brain diseases.”
It’s notoriously challenging to develop new, innovative treatments for neurological disorders. But by bringing together diverse scientific minds who each think and work in different ways, we can build on each other’s strengths and expertise. This allows us to tackle some of the biggest questions in science and address gaps in care in a powerful new way.
That’s why Roche and Genentech joined forces with a team of world class scientists at UC San Francisco and UC Berkeley, under the umbrella of the Weill Neurohub, to build a long-term academic and industry-based collaboration that would meld diverse and critical expertise in this area. The Weill Neurohub houses researchers and clinicians that work together to speed the development of new treatments for neurological and psychiatric diseases.
“What is special about the partnership is that it’s a 10-year commitment. So, we have the capital, the resources and the talent to ask some of the toughest questions that are facing us in neuroscience today,” says” Tom Zioncheck, Head of Neuroscience, Ophthalmology and Rare Diseases, Pharma Partnering at Roche
This partnership intends to accelerate the development of important neurological treatments for conditions such as Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and Multiple Sclerosis (MS), by leveraging each partner’s respective strengths in genomics, engineering, neuroimaging, computation and advanced analytics. We will also go back to the source – conducting the fundamental research needed to find answers for the key challenges of treating neurological diseases.