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From the Financial Times:

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) aims to sign up 10 academic “superstars” this year for long-term partnerships to help develop medicines more effectively and cheaply . . .

The move comes as the UK pharma group cuts back on costly but unproductive early-stage in-house research and attempts to shift from investment in fixed assets towards more flexible partnerships with external developers.

GSK has recently finalised its first such contract with Professor Mark Pepys, head of medicine at the Royal Free and University College Medical School in London, designed to develop a treatment for a rare form of amyloidosis. (Glaxo senior VP Patrick) Vallance said he planned to sign 10 such deals this year . . .

“It’s a wonderful idea,” said Prof Pepys. “We all agree that big pharma is useless at discovering new drugs and has to get its ideas from somewhere else."

Were I working for GSK, I would be very, very excited. Finally, a clear statement of what the company thinks of its own employees. The Sirtris (SIRT) deal (and others) have hinted at the contempt under the surface, but it's good to get it out into the open. Isn't it?

Source: GlaxoSmithKline's External Developer Partnerships: Open Contempt for Its Own Employees?