Pfizer, the US drug giant battling to win support for its £63bn approach for AstraZeneca, has unveiled a research partnership with five major UK universities.
The American pharma company has announced a research tie-up with the Global Medical Excellence Cluster, which is made up of Cambridge University, Imperial College London, King's College London, Queen Mary University London and Oxford University.
It said the aim of the partnership is to develop new drugs for rare diseases, a range of around 6,000 disorders which each affect fewer than one in 2,000 people.
It will involve Pfizer scientists working with the five institutions to develop drugs for rare disease based on university research on the genetic basis of these diseases.
The announcement comes amid fierce efforts by the American group to convince the UK Government that it would preserve jobs and investment in Britain's prized science base.
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