Bristol-Myers Squibb Company and the Harvard Fibrosis Network of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute announced a research collaboration to discover and develop potential new therapies for fibrotic diseases, including fibrosis of the liver and heart.
The Harvard Fibrosis Network brings together researchers across the schools and affiliated hospitals of Harvard University.
Fibrotic diseases impact many organs or tissues in the body, and are characterized by injury and chronic inflammation that lead to excess collagen deposition and scar formation in the affected organ or tissue. The scarring response compromises function and ultimately leads to organ failure. Treatments for fibrotic diseases are currently limited, and there is a significant unmet need for new options.
“Bristol-Myers Squibb strives to discover and develop transformational therapies that arrest or reverse the progression of fibrosis and restore organ function,” said Carl Decicco, Ph.D., head of Discovery, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “We are excited to work with the Harvard Fibrosis Network, as we believe this collaboration will advance fibrosis research with a goal of expediting the development of new therapies for patients with these debilitating conditions.”
“The Harvard Fibrosis Network was founded on the principle that fibrotic processes across different organs could share commonalities. To accelerate our understanding in this area, we draw on a large accomplished group of investigators at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute who focus on many different organs and biological processes. Our collaboration with Bristol-Myers Squibb will advance our efforts to discover and develop fibrosis therapies, because it allows us to combine the best of academic, clinical, and pharmaceutical research practice,” said Joseph V. Bonventre, M.D., Ph.D. Bonventre is the lead researcher of the Harvard Fibrosis Network, Executive Committee member of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, Samuel A. Levine Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and Chief of the Divisions of Renal Medicine and Engineering in Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
Under the terms of the agreement, leading academic investigators of hepatic and cardiac fibrosis from the Harvard Fibrosis Network will collaborate closely with leading scientists from Bristol-Myers Squibb on four projects over three years. Specific research projects will focus on applied fibrosis biology, identification of noninvasive biomarkers, and novel targets for potential anti-fibrotic therapies, in the areas of hepatic and cardiac fibrosis.