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Academic collaborations with industry: lessons for the future
  1. S. Sethu K. Reddy1,
  2. Shing Chao2
  1. 1 Medicine, Central Michigan University College of Medicine, Mount Pleasant, Michigan, USA
  2. 2 College of Medicine, Central Michigan University, Saginaw, Michigan, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr S. Sethu K. Reddy, Medicine, Central Michigan University College of Medicine, Mount Pleasant, MI 48859, USA; sethu.k.reddy{at}


Academic centers and industry partners have had love–hate relationships for more than a century. Despite many examples of socially beneficial collaborations between academia and industry, it has become increasingly difficult to find an arrangement where neither clinicians/researchers working with industry nor industry itself is demonized. Regardless, we must incentivize innovation. Preclinical research is primarily funded by the government, whereas 70% of clinical research is supported by industry. Due to external political pressure and industry’s concern about lack of control over content, industry’s support of continuing medical education (CME) has shrunk to 10% from 40% and has led to diversion of funding to non-CME events. Despite scrutiny of clinical faculty members’ interactions with industry, corporate philanthropy is much sought after by academic institutions. Developing new therapeutics requires both academia and industry to transparently and ethically partner with creation of innovative start-ups, sharing of non-proprietary clinical trial data, and in postmarketing surveillance. The search continues for truly symbiotic relationships between academia and industry.

  • academic medical centers
  • industry
  • drug discovery
  • education
  • medical
  • translational medical research

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  • Contributors All authors contributed to the content, writing, and editing of the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.