Research Support: New Ventures Aim To Advance Innovation In Drug Discovery | March 12, 2012 Issue - Vol. 90 Issue 11 | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 90 Issue 11 | p. 13 | News of The Week
Issue Date: March 12, 2012

Research Support: New Ventures Aim To Advance Innovation In Drug Discovery

Department: Business
News Channels: Biological SCENE
Keywords: drug discovery, drug development, partnership, cancer

Institutional support for drug research has advanced with the formation of a venture sponsored by Cleveland’s University Hospitals (UH) to support independent scientists and a collaboration between the Boston area’s two National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centers.

UH has launched a $250 million initiative called the Harrington Project for Discovery & Development to support drug research by independent physician-scientists. The project will be funded by UH, independent investors, and a $50 million gift from the local family for which it is named. It will include a not-for-profit clinical research group and a for-profit company that will commercialize drugs that it develops.

The Harrington Project, according to UH, is a first-of-its-kind venture to support researchers who lack access to government and investor funding or partnerships with major drug companies. “The current system nationally has been flawed, and we believe this new initiative is the solution,” says Achilles A. Demetriou, UH’s chief operating officer.

Meanwhile, in a first-time collaboration, the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center have formed the Bridge Project to tackle two of the most lethal cancers: pancreatic cancer and glioblastoma, a form of brain cancer.

The Bridge Project has awarded grants to four teams made up of biologists, bioengineers, and clinical researchers representing both cancer centers. The project aims to raise $50 million over the next three to five years to fund additional research teams.

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