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Genzyme enables creation of key clinical academic post in Cambridge

Global biotechnology company Genzyme has made a generous benefaction to endow a key clinical academic post at the University of Cambridge.

The post will be dedicated to fundamental and translational research in multiple sclerosis and other neuroimmunological diseases, and strengthens Genzyme's existing multiple sclerosis research collaboration with the University.

According to Genzyme's Mark Enyedy:

"By creating this dedicated clinical academic post, we are ensuring continued progress against this disease where there is substantial unmet medical need. We are also further extending our successful research partnership with one of the leading neuroscience programs in the world."

Genzyme and Cambridge Neuroscientists Professor Alastair Compston (left) and the Rvd Dr Alasdair Coles (right) have been working together on new therapeutic concepts for treating multiple sclerosis.

Alemtuzumab, the first humanised monoclonal antibody developed at the University of Cambridge, is being developed clinically by Genzyme and is in phase 3 trials for assessment in patients with early relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis.

Professor Compston and Dr Coles pioneered the early clinical development of alemtuzumab in multiple sclerosis.

"This important gift is critical in maintaining the steady progress we have made towards defining the basis for treatment of multiple sclerosis and other neuroimmunological diseases,"

said Alastair Compston, Chair of Cambridge Neuroscience, Professor of Neurology and head of the Department of Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Cambridge.

"It also provides an opportunity to understand the nature of human autoimmunity. We hope that in due course this funding will enable us to endow a clinical professorship."

Cambridge in America - the US Foundation working on behalf of the collegiate University - allocated the gift from Genzyme Corporation of approximately $6 million to support an endowed key clinical academic post.

The funding will provide consistent salary support and allow the faculty member to pursue novel areas of fundamental and translational research. The university academic faculty member will also see patients at the Cambridge University Hospitals.

Press release written by the University of Cambridge Press Office.

Posted on 04/03/2010

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