Staff news

Deal offers treatment hope

The University has formed a partnership with pharmaceutical company Glaxosmithkline (GSK) to discover and develop drugs to treat severe acute pancreatitis.

Edinburgh Bioquarter
Edinburgh Bioquarter

The collaboration will build on work carried out by University academics Mr Damian Mole and Dr Scott Webster, who are both based within the College of Medicine & Veterinary Medicine.

Science to medicine

The medical researchers recently uncovered a molecular mechanism believed to have a major role in triggering life-threatening multiple organ failure

This condition develops in roughly one out of four cases of acute pancreatitis.

Severe acute pancreatitis can be expensive to treat as patients require intensive care. Despite treatment, up to a quarter of people will die from an attack. By teaming up with GSK, we have the opportunity to turn our science into a medicine.

Mr Damian MoleClinical Scientist, Clinical Surgery


The deal was negotiated by Edinburgh Bioquarter, which works closely with University researchers to help nurture the commercialisation of life sciences research.

The University will receive success-based financial support from the GSK linked to reaching agreed milestones, as well as an undisclosed upfront payment and royalties on sales from any product that is successfully commercialised out of the collaboration.

Photo credit: Scottish Enterprise

This collaborative partnership with a world-leader in drug discovery demonstrates the strength and depth of research being conducted here in Edinburgh.

Dr Diane HarbisonHead of Business Development, Edinburgh BioQuarter

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