A unique public-private partnership provides medical research centers and the patents they generate with a more efficient and rewarding path toward commercialization.
Bridge Medicines is a drug discovery company launched recently in conjunction with three of the leading non-profit medical research institutions – Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, The Rockefeller University and Weill Cornell Medicine, collectively known as Tri-I TDI. This firm makes it easier for researchers to get the non-dilutive capital that they need to move ahead with good ideas that would otherwise require outside funding.
The partnership includes Takeda, a Japanese Pharmaceutical company, Bay City Capital, a San Francisco-based venture capital firm, and Deerfield Management, a life science analytics organization based in New York. New businesses funded by the venture will remain in New York.
From Concept to Candidate
Bridge Medicines is a unique initiative that completes an unbroken, fully funded and professionally staffed path from concept to drug candidate, in order to help develop innovative therapeutics for the treatment of human diseases.
“The goal is to move research projects further along the development path without loosing momentum or mortgaging the future of their patents,” Kathleen Denis, Associate Vice President and director of technology transfer at Rockefeller University and a past-president of the Licensing Executives Society, told IP CloseUp. “Often, research institutions must give away all of their rights for a little early help. Bridge Medicines prevents this from happening.”
Research projects accepted into the Tri-I TDI, which was launched in 2013 and currently has about 50 projects underway, will now be able to graduate to Bridge Medicines, where they will be given financial, operational and managerial support to move from validating pre-clinical studies to human clinical trials.
Retaining IP Rights
Typically, investigators behind promising early-stage discoveries must search for a bio-pharmaceutical company to purchase or license their intellectual property, or find a funding opportunity to support additional research. This process can be time-consuming and may shift investigators’ focus away from science and onto funding. It slows progress and in some cases even ends the development path.
“The launch of Bridge Medicines is an exciting development in New York’s biotechnology space,” said Dr. Michael Foley, Sanders Director of the Tri-I TDI. “We’re offering entrepreneurs access to support what’s next in bio-pharmaceuticals. Bridge enables us to advance promising projects farther down the development pipeline, providing new therapies to patients as quickly as possible. It establishes a pathway from idea to proof of human concept with little more than a five-page application summary.”
For the Bridge Medicines announcement, go here.
For more information on Bridge Medicines, go here.
For background on Tri-I TDI research partnership, go here.
Saving Time & Lives
Because Bridge Medicines projects are funded as a group, even some riskier, but potentially transformational, ideas can obtain financial support.
Participants say the arrangement could shave-off a decade or more from the typical process of going from a promising discovery to medical use.
Image source: bridgemedicines.com; tritdi.org