Scripps’ new partnership with nonprofit aims to speed drug development

Scripps Florida labs in Jupiter (Richard Graulich/The Palm Beach Post)

Scripps Florida labs in Jupiter (Richard Graulich/The Palm Beach Post)

The Scripps Research Institute and the California Institute for Biomedical Research on Thursday announced a “strategic affiliation” that they said will help turn Scripps’ scientific discoveries into marketable medicines.

The two nonprofits are based in San Diego. No money changed hands as part of the arrangement, Scripps officials said. Peter Schultz is president of both organizations.

The new approach aims to let Scripps keep control of promising drugs longer in the development process, and therefore allow Scripps to reap more of the profits. The strategy is different from how Scripps has operated in the past. For instance, Scripps discovered Humira, the oft-advertised treatment for arthritis and Crohn’s disease, but no longer receives payments for that drug.

“Ultimately, I believe this ‘bench-to-bedside’ model has the potential to become self-sustaining, with the value we create being reinvested back into research, education and additional clinical studies,” Schultz said in a statement.

The idea is that Scripps is good at basic research but doesn’t specialize in turning its discoveries into commercially viable products.

The Scripps Research Institute reported revenue of $379.7 million in 2014. The California Institute for Biomedical Research posted revenue of $18.4 million.

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