UConn Health announced a second collaboration with Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc., headquartered in New Haven, CT, in an effort to seek out new and novel therapeutic interventions for treating rare and debilitating diseases.

The collaboration will expand on the targeted cellular repair platform work of George Y. Wu, M.D., Ph.D., Director, Hepatology Section, Division of Gastroenterology-Hepatology, and holder of the Herman Lopata Chair in Hepatitis Research. Dr. George Wu and his wife, Dr. Catherine Wu, have been pioneers in the field of targeted restoration of damaged cells. The proprietary and novel platform technology will be used in collaborative research to further investigate the ability to restore normality to defective cell functions that cause rare diseases.

Alexion previously collaborated with Dr. David Goldhamer from UConn’s Stem Cell Institute and the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology to further understand the pathophysiology of certain disorders and to test potential therapeutics using relevant disease models developed by Dr. Goldhamer.

“This new collaboration between UConn Health and Alexion builds on an existing relationship that has already proven to be very mutually beneficial,” said Dr. Jeff Seemann, UConn’s vice president for research. “The combination of talent and resources from UConn’s extraordinary life sciences faculty and a cutting-edge industry partner like Alexion increases the pace and quality of this innovative research, and continues to strengthen Connecticut’s position as a global leader in the field of bioscience.”

UConn Health is at the center of Bioscience Connecticut, a bold plan introduced by Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy and approved by the Connecticut General Assembly in 2011. Along with improving access and quality of health care for Connecticut citizens for generations to come, the plan places significant emphasis and resources on fueling innovations in bioscience research.

“We are pleased to partner with UConn Health to explore new approaches for treating rare and devastating diseases,” said Martin Mackay, Ph.D., executive vice president and global head of R&D at Alexion. “As with our existing programs with UConn, this collaboration will leverage each partner’s unique strengths and expertise to further drive our mission on behalf of patients.”

Alexion is a global biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and delivering life-transforming therapies for patients with devastating and rare diseases. Alexion was established in 1992 and has global headquarters in New Haven, CT. The company’s 3,000 employees serve patients in 50 countries.