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Insight 4

GlaxoSmithKline has been thwarted time and again in its quest to develop a new blockbuster medication. However it has always maintained a high profile in academia, looking for multiple ways to tie up with leading researchers in the U.K. in pursuit of a major breakthrough.

Just days ago the pharma giant signed the first big deal with the Francis Crick Institute. Now a high-profile examination of the state of play of partnering in academic research circles, the Dowling Report, says Glaxo is the single largest collaborator with academia in the U.K., for any industry.

Big pharma in general dominated the top 5 collaborators in the country. U.S.-based Pfizer ($PFE), which was hissed in the U.K. after it made an unsuccessful bid for AstraZeneca last year, took the third spot on the top 40 list. And AstraZeneca ($AZN) came in right behind Pfizer, in the number four position.

"Every science begins as philosophy and ends as art." Will Durant,