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New York City discovery venture advances

Tri-Institutional Therapeutics Discovery Institute adds a development arm, Bridge Medicines

by Rick Mullin
November 2, 2016 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 94, Issue 44

Credit: Jeff Goldberg/Esto for Ennead Architects
Tri-I TDI is housed in Weill Cornell’s new Belfer Research Building.
A photo of the Belfer Research Building at Weill Cornell.
Credit: Jeff Goldberg/Esto for Ennead Architects
Tri-I TDI is housed in Weill Cornell’s new Belfer Research Building.

Three New York City research institutes are extending a venture with the Japanese drugmaker Takeda Pharmaceutical by adding a drug development company to a discovery laboratory, the Tri-Institutional Therapeutics Discovery Institute (Tri-I TDI), that they launched in 2013.

The partners—Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Rockefeller University, and Weill Cornell Medicine—say their new company, Bridge Medicines, will give early-stage projects emerging from Tri-I TDI a more secure development path than the traditional route of licensing intellectual property to large drug companies.

Principle investigators at Tri I-TDI have been working with medicinal chemists from Takeda on 50 early-stage drug discovery projects spanning infectious disease, oncology, neuropsychiatry, and rare disease. Compounds that have therapeutic viability will be eligible to enter Bridge Medicines for scientific and financial support in drug development.

Projects at Bridge Medicines will be funded as a group, though some projects may obtain dedicated financial support. The investment firms Bay City Capital and Deerfield Management are financial partners in the new venture.

The three institutes have strived in recent years to foster greater interaction between pharmaceutical researchers in New York City, with an eye toward establishing the kind of research hub that has grown in Boston, San Diego, and San Francisco.

“As Bridge Medicines changes the paradigm of drug development, it can also help transform New York into a world-class center of biotechnology excellence,” says William Slattery, a partner at Deerfield.


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