The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Amgen Inc. onTuesday announced a collaborative agreement that could extend morethan 10 years and involve up to $30 million. Officials at Amgen andMIT said it is potentially the largest such collaboration for each.Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) of Thousand Oaks, Calif., will pay MITup to $3 million a year for 10 years in exchange for patent andtechnology licensing rights resulting from research collaboration.Specific research projects have not been determined, but likely targetswould be in the areas of neuroscience and human genetics.MIT and Amgen will jointly hold patents resulting from Amgen-sponsored research, and MIT researchers will initiate projects, withrights to publish articles on that research. Amgen will have firsttechnology licensing rights resulting from the research.Kenneth Campbell, director of the MIT news office, told BioWorld thatMIT faculty and researchers will propose research projects, and that theamount of funding will depend on research direction from Amgen."There's an identity of research interest in what we are doing and whatAmgen wants to do," Campbell said. "If (researchers at MIT) can't getfunding from Amgen, it doesn't mean a project won't get done, but thatit would be sponsored by someone else."MIT President Charles Vest said, "This agreement with Amgenrepresents an essential element in the kind of future I see for MIT _ asynergy of basic research efforts at universities and long-termcommitments by industry."Lynne Connell, a corporate communications associate for Amgen, saidthe company has more than 200 academic collaborations withindividual scientists and institutions, but none with a larger potentialmonetary value. Campbell said MIT has "nothing on this scale" interms of research collaborations.

-- Jim Shrine

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