GlaxoSmithKline said it will make clinical trial data available to other researchers, breaking from the practice of other pharmaceutical companies which claim such data as proprietary business information.
GSK will also open its tuberculosis compound library to help stimulate research on how to fight that global killer.
“As a truly global healthcare company, I believe we have a responsibility to do all we can at GSK to use our resources, knowledge and expertise to help tackle serious global health challenges," GSK chief executive Andrew Witty said in a statement. "However, the complexity of the science and the scale of the challenge mean that we cannot solve these problems alone. We need to take a different approach – one focused on partnership, collaboration and openness. By being more open with our clinical trial data, we also hope to help further scientific understanding. I am pleased with the progress we have made so far to evolve our business model but we recognise there is more we can do and the new initiatives outlined today will enable us to build on this work."
GSK has a Center City facility and location in other Pennsylvania towns and several in New Jersey.
Tuberculosis still kills more than a million people a year.
Witty has often spoken of moving the company away from selling "white pills in Western markets," and opening the compounds in the company's TB library is part of the effort to spread GSK influence around the globe.
But opening clinical data to other researchers is also an effort to speak to regulatory authorities in the United States and Western Europe.
In July, when GSK paid a record penalty of $3 billion and pleaded guilty to three misdemeanor criminal charges, one of the charges dealt with its failure to provide clinical data related to the safety of its diabetic drug Avandia to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Witty made his comments at a meeting hosted by the Wellcome Trust in London.
“In its commitment towards more openness and collaboration, GSK is setting an example of how the pharmaceutical industry must adapt to help drive forward medical advances," Sir Mark Walport, director of the Wellcome Trust, said in a statement. "Real breakthroughs do not come out of nowhere, but are borne of scientists sharing their knowledge and learning from each other. GSK’s moves are bold and innovative, a very positive sign of its commitment to tackle some of the greatest health challenges facing the world today.”