GSK and Tres Cantos Open Lab Foundation announce additional £5m funding for open innovation research in diseases impacting the developing world

GSK and the Tres Cantos Open Lab Foundation today announced an additional £5m in GSK funding to support the Foundation’s research and development programmes in diseases of the developing world. This new funding builds on the £10m GSK has already committed since the Foundation was created in 2010.

The Tres Cantos Open Lab Foundation provides funding and support to researchers from universities, not-for-profit partnerships, other research institutes and industry to develop and advance ideas that could lead to new medicines to treat diseases which primarily affect the developing world. Scientists can come to the Open Lab, located at GSK’s Tres Cantos R&D campus and, as part of an integrated team, access GSK’s compound library, screening tools, models of disease and discovery and development expertise.  

To date, more than 250 proposals have been evaluated, 65 projects have been approved and 80 Open Lab scientists have been trained in global health drug discovery in an industrial setting.    A significant pipeline of candidate medicines has been delivered through this model – including a novel TB drug candidate with treatment shortening potential.  Other projects underway include innovative research into malaria, Chagas disease, leishmaniasis and sleeping sickness.

In each case, the fresh ideas brought to the Open Lab by the visiting scientists are magnified through access to the world-class facilities, experience and mentorship provided by GSK. 

Researchers supported by the Foundation are encouraged to disseminate their work and results to ensure their discoveries are also available to other researchers.  The Foundation is independent of GSK, overseen by a Governing Board of leading scientists. 

Pauline Williams, SVP Global Health R&D for GSK said:

This additional GSK funding recognises the vital and unique opportunity for collaboration in Global Health R&D that the Tres Cantos Open Lab Foundation provides.  The Open Lab brings together fresh thinking, passion and resource to incubate genuine global health innovation.  The progress being made with the emerging pipeline of candidate medicines is evidence of how important this kind of open, partnership-based approach can be in bringing vital new medicines to people who need them.   We are proud to support the Foundation.   

Professor Peter Piot, Chair Tres Cantos Openlab Governing Board and Director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said:

This GSK funding, in addition to the access to R&D resources, expertise and mentorship for visiting scientists at the Open Lab, are the cornerstones of how we have turned a novel idea for open innovation into a reality. The global scientific community is embracing this model in the hope that this innovative approach will one day create medicines that save millions of lives.   All those involved with the Open Lab are galvanised by the possibility that their work could be the catalyst that leads to a new medicine, and this announcement strengthens that possibility.  

GSK’s own dedicated Global Health R&D unit in Tres Cantos has over 120 scientists working on potential new medicines for TB, malaria, kinetoplastid diseases and causes of childhood diarrhoea.

About the TCOLF - Established in 2010, the Tres Cantos Open Lab Foundation (TCOLF) addresses the translational and funding gap existing in Global Health (GH) between basic research and drug discovery by creating a project-based collaborative environment integrating academic and industry teams. This allows rapid testing of novel therapeutic hypotheses.

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Cautionary statement regarding forward-looking statements
GSK cautions investors that any forward-looking statements or projections made by GSK, including those made in this announcement, are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Such factors include, but are not limited to, those described under Item 3.D Principal risks and uncertainties in the company's Annual Report on Form 20-F for 2017.