Massachusetts and seven pharmaceutical companies are expected to unveil an ambitious neuroscience consortium Wednesday aimed at improving the understanding and treatment of neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis.
Participants in the Massachusetts Neuroscience Consortium include Abbott Laboratories, Biogen Idec, Inc., EMD Serono Inc., Janssen Research & Development LLC, Merck & Co., Pfizer Inc., and Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc. Each has pledged $250,000, for initial funding of $1.75 million. The money will go toward preclinical neuroscience at various academic and research institutions in the state.
The consortium will be formally announced by Governor Deval Patrick at the Biotechnology Industry Organization’s annual convention at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, where more than 15,000 attendees have gathered this week.
While the amount of money involved is relatively small — at least for now — the consortium is significant because it involves cooperation between companies that in some cases compete with each other, said Susan Windham-Bannister, chief executive of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center.
“This kind of arrangement is out of the comfort zones of these companies, so we wanted to make it easy for them to participate,” Windham-Bannister said.
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