Recently, Florida Hospital and Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute in Orlando launched a partnership with Japanese pharmaceutical company Takeda. The three of them hope to identify a new drug to help treat obesity. I spoke to University of Central Florida Professor Aaron Liberman regarding the significance of this collaboration. He said the partnership could potentially be a win-win-win situation for all the players involved, but he said all sides need to guard against potential pitfalls that can crop up in relationships between research institutions and pharmaceutical companies.
He said the benefits could include :
1) Opportunity to develop pharmaceutical products to be sold on the world market; 2) Advances in research, especially when obesity affects so many young Americans now; 3) Possible spin-offs from the project, leading to new research and discoveries; 4) Job creation, especially high-paying ones; 5) Influx of many well-trained, established experts to central Florida.
But he also warned people need to be "vigilant," when pharmaceutical companies fund biomedical research.
Liberman emphasized he was not referring specifically to the collaborators in this partnership.