11 pharmaceutical companies graphic
3 academic centres in Cambridge graphic
Over 9m Invested by industry partners
Over 9m Invested by industry partners

The Milner Therapeutics Consortium has been active since June 2015 and is based on a research agreement signed by three academic centres in Cambridge and fourteen pharmaceutical companies: the University of Cambridge, the Wellcome Sanger Institute and the Babraham Institute; and Astex, AstraZeneca, Bristol Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly and CompanyGlaxoSmithKline, Shionogi, Pfizer, JanssenR&D, Ferring, Eisai, Astellas, MSD, Takeda and Sanofi. The agreement is designed to facilitate the speedy exchange of reagents and information for research collaboration with academics across Cambridge. Each industry partner within the Milner Therapeutics Consortium has set aside funds for collaborative projects, which are open to any therapeutic area and are expected to lead to joint publications.

The Innovation Board brings together the industrial and academic partners of the Consortium to determine the overarching challenges facing the pharmaceutical industry and predict future needs. It enables companies to collaborate on common research projects related to targets, technologies and therapeutic areas.

There have been >40 Consortium projects across eleven Departments and Institutes of the University and the Babraham to date; these include a focus on oncology, infectious diseases, CNS and chemistry (an investment of £12 million by our industry partners). The projects are early-stage research collaborations aiming to discover and validate new therapeutic targets, apply novel technologies and better understand disease mechanisms in advanced cellular models. They are broad in remit and can include access to compounds (including those already tested in the clinic), datasets, equipment or know-how in a particular technique. In some cases, an industry scientist has come to work in the academic’s lab, and in others an academic post has been funded specifically for the project. The emphasis in all our collaborations is on mutual sharing of expertise. In 2019, we initiated our first pre-competitive project with multiple pharmaceutical companies collaborating with one academic researcher (see case studies). The project is being carried out in the Centre for Pathway Analysis, which provides an unparalleled environment for cross-sector research.

How to work with us

If you are a pharma company who is interested in the Consortium model or an academic with a potential pre-clinical collaborative project that would benefit from industry expertise and know-how, please contact us at any time for a meeting.

Read about our latest Consortium projects and case studies.

Find out more about current areas of interest for our pharma partners by clicking the logos below.


Takeda Logo