The Innovation Centre for Immune Therapy (ICIT) of Tsinghua University and Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) announced the recent signing of a memorandum of understanding, officially making BMS the first strategic partner of ICIT. BMS will participate in the Centre’s innovative drug development program and cooperate in immunotherapeutic research. Relying on Tsinghua University’s strong technical prowess and talent, in combination with BMS’ R&D expertise in drug discovery and development, the parties aim to transform high potential research projects into compounds with clinical value, and provide novel therapies for the most challenging immune diseases. The cooperation between Tsinghua University and BMS will meet the needs of Chinese patients with specific high incidence diseases, which have a clinical need for joint efforts, to provide patients with new treatment options as soon as possible.
According to statistics, China has become one of the largest economies in technology investment, second only to the US1. However, a wide gap still prevails in investment efficiency, due mainly to the unsatisfactory technology conversion rate compared to more developed countries, despite both sci-tech human resources and patent filings ranked first in the world2,3. In recent years, China has made significant progress by delivering 30,000 scientific research results annually, at the cost of approximately 460 billion RMB, and growing at 20% year-on-year. However, technology transformation and industrialization remain dire. The State Council issued Several Regulations on Implementing the Law of the PRC on Promoting the Transformation of Scientific and Technological Achievements in February 2016 to create a favorable environment for technological achievements, and the transformation from research to practice.
ICIT is collaborating with BMS to facilitate the transformation of research results, and to promote development of innovative drugs in immunology. “Since its foundation, ICIT has been working to collaborate with world-leading multinational pharmaceutical companies, including BMS,” Prof. Chen Dong, Director of the Institute for Immunology at Tsinghua University, said during the signing ceremony. “This collaboration will enable the swift transformation of original research results, pave new ways to realize innovation and entrepreneurship, amass valuable intellectual properties, and deliver broad social benefits.”
As a global biopharmaceutical company with “discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases” as its mission, BMS takes the initiative to address a range of major diseases and has become a world leader in tumor immunotherapy. “Lead by director Dong Chen, the Institute has made impressive achievements in its research in immunology,” the Vice President of Discovery from BMS Headquarter, Dr. Litao Zhang, said. “BMS has a long-term partnership with Tsinghua University. The agreement? with ICIT will infuse further vitality to the development of BMS in China, and promote synergy between our global innovation roadmap and our local strategy. This cooperation will help patients gain early access to innovative drugs, and fulfill unmet needs in severe disease treatment.”
The Immunology Research Institute is a building-block for basic immunological research in Tsinghua University. Lead by Prof. Chen Dong, a world-renowned immunologist, it has become a group of top researchers with a strong R&D capability over the past 5 years. Recently, the Institute has attracted international attention for its research into immunocyte development, natural immune mechanism, adaptive immunity, autoimmune disease, tumor immunology, and allergic disease. Numerous original research results have been published in peer review journals including Nature, Immunity and Nature Immunology, demonstrating China’s highest quality research in immunology and inflammation.
Innovation Centre for Immune Therapy (ICIT) of Tsinghua University was co-established by the Institute for Immunology and Technology Transfer at Tsinghua University in August 2016, co-chaired by Prof. Chen Dong, Director of the Institute for Immunology, and Mr. Qinxian Jin, Dean of the Institute for Technology Transfer. ICIT aims to promote an innovative technology incubation model, transform basic research results into therapeutic drugs through strategic cooperation with renowned pharmaceutical companies worldwide who lead in original immunological research. ICIT also seeks to accelerate clinical application of immunological research outcomes.
Bristol-Myers Squibb is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases. For more information about Bristol-Myers Squibb, visit us at BMS.com or follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook.