Elanco, Purdue announce strategic alliance to advance animal health

February 8, 2020
dvm360 Staff

One of the main goals of the partnership between these neighboring organizations is to train future animal research professionals to meet the needs of today’s workforce.

Indiana-based Elanco Animal Health, Purdue University and the Purdue Research Foundation have announced a four-year collaborative agreement whose overarching goal is to find solutions to challenges in animal health.

Through the alliance, Elanco and Purdue researchers will work together closely in a number of areas, including protein engineering and microbiome discovery. For Elanco, the partnership promises to decrease dramatically the time it takes for projects to go from the technical need stage into active work.

The agreement includes the potential for many types of research collaborations as well as intellectual property scenarios, especially in areas of expertise in which Purdue excels but Elanco has not yet invested, such as structural biology.

“This alliance … adds momentum toward Elanco’s promise to rigorously innovate for the benefit of our customers and improve the health of animals,” said Aaron Schacht, executive vice president of innovation, regulatory and business development at Elanco, in a press release announcing the agreement. “Purdue’s dedication to delivering solutions has propelled the institution into amassing strengths in a wide array of disciplines and is a natural partner of choice.”

For its part, Purdue views the partnership as a two-way street—and key to its mission of developing tomorrow’s workforce. “An alliance of this scope educates students on real industry challenges, creating students [who] graduate prepared to solve many of the industry’s greatest issues,” Purdue Research Foundation President Brian Edelman said in the release. “This partnership is designed to educate students on real industry problems, advance research endeavors, provide collaboration opportunities with skilled research scientists and laboratories, and train the next generation of our workforce.”

Purdue Biological Sciences Professor Richard Kuhn, PhD, agrees that the partnership benefits both parties. “It's clear that we have expertise that we can share,” Dr. Kuhn said. “[The alliance will] develop partnerships in terms of training some [Elanco] employees in some of the latest techniques and also developing a pipeline for new employees in which they get to interview and talk to and maybe provide internships for our students."

The partnership will also allow Purdue research faculty to expand their research into new areas in which their “discoveries could be translated and be impactful to animals,” Dr. Kuhn told Inside Indiana Business.