ALBANY, N.Y. & NEW YORK–(April 26, 2021 08:00 AM EDT)–Deerfield Management Company, a healthcare investment firm focused on advancing healthcare through investment, information and philanthropy, and the Empire Discovery Institute (EDI) have formed a translational research partnership to accelerate the development of novel therapeutics. Through the partnership Deerfield expects to invest up to $65 million over the next five years to translate scientific discoveries with potential applications for patients.
The EDI is a non-profit New York drug discovery and development accelerator created to translate important academic discoveries into new medicines for commercialization by providing strategic support and pharmaceutical development expertise. The EDI works in partnership with research labs at the University of Rochester, the University at Buffalo, and Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Through a newly launched company called Empire Deerfield Discovery & Development LLC (ED3), funding and support will be available for projects in high-need therapeutic areas, as well as those targeting patients who suffer from hard-to-treat and rare diseases, to accelerate them towards clinical validation in patients and commercialization.
“EDI was founded to help overcome the key challenges often faced by life science researchers in academia, namely a lack of external funding to advance pre-clinical development and access to pharmaceutical industry expertise to advance programs in an efficient manner to the clinic. Our partnership with Deerfield will enable us to accelerate our mission to identify medically important targets for human disease to facilitate the creation and development of novel, highly differentiated new therapeutics,” said Martin Graham PhD, CEO of the Empire Discovery Institute.
“We are deeply grateful to the leadership of New York State for their ongoing support for the Empire Discovery Institute. The new investment by Deerfield will strengthen this unique partnership between research institutions in Rochester and Buffalo, help accelerate the process of bringing new drugs to market, and position Western New York and the Finger Lakes as a hub for life sciences research,” said Mark Taubman, CEO of the University of Rochester Medical Center.
“We are pleased to partner with New York State and the EDI to support the exciting discoveries coming out University of Rochester, the University at Buffalo and Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. These institutions represent a major innovation hub and focusing on translating their science may change the course of disease for many,” stated James Flynn, Deerfield managing partner. “We look forward to supporting the world class science, investigators and leadership as they aim to create new cures for patients.”
“We look forward to the opportunity for this strategic partnership between EDI and Deerfield to support the development and commercialization of novel research initiatives across the partner institutions,” said Candace Johnson CEO Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Dr. Satish K. Tripathi, president, University at Buffalo and chair, Empire Discovery Institute, said, “The Deerfield partnership significantly enhances EDI’s ability to advance novel therapeutics discovered at UB and our founding partners’ institutions. Building upon the $35 million grant from New York State to EDI, the Deerfield partnership gives our faculty researchers access to additional funding and expertise to help them move their innovations from an idea to the market, bringing new life saving drugs to improve the health and well-being of individuals, communities, and society.”
“Governor Cuomo and Empire State Development are dedicated to ensuring New York State is at the forefront of life science research and commercialization,” said Empire State Development Acting Commissioner, and President and CEO-designate Eric Gertler. “The Administration’s investment in the sector, including its support of EDI, helps promote and facilitate dynamic public private partnerships, like ED3, which further enhances New York’s leadership in the life science field.”
Following the launch of this new program, researchers at EDI’s partner institutions will be able to submit R&D proposals for consideration via Martin Graham, Chief Executive Office of Empire Discovery Institute. Recommended proposals will be reviewed by an ED3 joint steering committee, whose membership comprises equal leadership representing EDI and Deerfield. Through ED3, Deerfield will provide funding, development expertise and operational support for accepted proposals.
EDI is an integrated drug discovery and development accelerator located in Western New York. Organized as a 501(c)(3) corporation, EDI was established with an initial grant of $35.4M over five years from Empire State Development (ESD) as part of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s $620M NYS Life Science Initiative. EDI together with its Scientific Advisory Board, identifies and in-licenses promising discoveries from its partner institutes at the University at Buffalo, the University of Rochester, and Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. Through the formation of strategic partnerships with investors and pharmaceutical industry partners, pharmaceutical industry knowledge and expertise is applied to advance candidate drugs through pre-clinical development to patients. These activities are intended to realize the full clinical and commercial potential of important discoveries originating from EDI’s partner institutions, thereby contributing to the growth and economic development of New York’s biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry.
Deerfield is an investment management firm committed to advancing healthcare through investment, information and philanthropy. For more information, please visit www.deerfield.com.