News Feature | April 2, 2014

Lundbeck To Partner With Lieber Institute To Study Schizophrenia

By Estel Grace Masangkay

Lundbeck, along with several other pharmaceutical companies, has announced that is entering into collaboration with the Lieber Institute for Brain Development. This collaboration will enable Lundbeck researchers to work towards novel and improved treatment of the brain disease schizophrenia.

Kim Andersen, VP of Research for Lundbeck, said, “We are excited to be involved in this project, because, for the very first time, we will have the opportunity to study the impact that genes have on the development of human brain tissue in the areas of the brain that are connected with schizophrenia. This will increase our understanding of what is going wrong in the diseased brain and also improve our chances of developing new drugs.”

The collaboration will open the door to Lundbeck to investigate how genes affect brain development and influence brain disorders. Thanks to the Lieber Institute’s collection of human brains, currently the largest in the world, researchers will be able to examine brains of both sick and healthy individuals and study how the biology of the disease can be expressed.

Daniel R. Weinberger, Director and CEO of the Lieber Institute, said, “Our goal in creating this collaboration with the private industry is to speed discoveries that may improve the lives of individuals suffering from brain disorders. This consortium is a bold initiative with the potential to have broad relevance across the spectrum of human brain disorders. By uniting diverse scientists from different sectors, we have created a new model of cooperative research that is designed to accomplish ambitious goals with efficiency and focus.”

The company said the goal of the collaboration is to speed progress in the understanding of brain disorder development and effective treatments.

The collaboration also involves other pharmaceutical firms Roche, Eli Lilly, Pfizer, and Astellas. Researchers are expected to cooperate during the duration of the project and only start competing after the collaboration’s goals have been met.