Seven Europe-based drug firms have announced plans to pool their research efforts together with universities and smaller companies in a project which aims to develop tomorrow’s medicines.
The European Lead Factory (ELF), backed by the EU, is backed by €196m ($265m). €80m ($107m) is being provided by the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research (FP7), while a further €91m ($121m) will be provided by participating companies that are members of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA). Non-EFPIA participants have provided the remaining €25m ($33m).
The project aims to drive innovation through open collaboration between big firms, which will contribute at least 300,000 chemical compounds from their in-house collections, with academia and small-to-medium enterprises, which will develop a further 200,000.
ELF aims to use the information to crowdsource techniques to develop ideas to counteract diseases, which can then be tested using collaborated pharmaceutical knowledge.

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