GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Imperial College London have signed agreement to establish major research partnerships in medical imaging at Hammersmith Hospital in London.
GSK will contribute funding of £28 million for the construction of a new Clinical Imaging Centre, next to Hammersmith Hospital in west London. Research will focus on cancer, stroke, neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis and psychiatric diseases.
The GSK Clinical Imaging Centre will use and advance the latest technologies in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET), for which GSK will invest a further £16 million.
Imaging technology such as PET provides scientists with a ‘window’ to look at the real-time chemical processes in human organs such as the brain, the heart and lungs, revealing the immediate changes that medicines can make.
Imaging data can help speed up drug discovery and development by providing information about what is happening at a molecular level in the body.
‘New imaging technology can provide early and accurate information about how medicines work in people, yet the need to harness this new technology to drug development efforts has outpaced current capacity,’ noted Dr Tachi Yamada, Chairman of Research and Development at GlaxoSmithKline.
The GSK Clinical Imaging Centre will be completed by 2006, creating around 200 new positions for researchers and support staff.