Oklahoma State University (OSU) secured major windfall from a settlement with opioid maker Purdue Pharma earlier this year. Its quest to become a major hub for addiction research just got more serious as the company also handed over thousands of proprietary molecules, patient samples and other data.

The National Center for Addiction Studies and Treatment at OSU’s Center for Wellness and Recovery in Tulsa is the result of the OSU agreeing to drop its suit. The new center is funded by a $177 million endowment from Purdue and its owner, the Sackler family.

Goal of the Research Center

The new center aims to be a major research hub for investigators to study the underlying causes of pain and addiction to improve pain management and treat substance abuse disorders, anticipated to be a “10-to 15 year ramp up” to set up new projects and identify collaborators, reports Jason Beaman, who heads up OSU’s psychiatry department.

Now, however, with access to this treasure trove of data, research can be dramatically accelerated, speeding up the timeline. Beaman reports, “It’s unprecedented for any major biotech firm to hand over such volume of molecules to an academic institution.”

Beaman developed the school’s wellness center and led the effort to secure a treasure trove of data from Purdue.

Purdue will also share blood samples from patients enrolled in its clinical trials and accompanying data about patient and family history, which could help OSU researchers investigate genetic pathways that drive pain and addiction.

Lead Research/Investigator

Jason Beaman 

Source: American Association for the Advancement of Science

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