Harvard and Deerfield forge major research alliance

BI & Dundee UNI expand drug discovery collaboration
Credit: Shutterstock.com/ Goran Bogicevic

Harvard University and healthcare investment firm Deerfield Management have established an R&D alliance to speed the development and translation of biomedical and life-science innovations into transformative treatments.

Through a newly launched company – called Lab1636 – Deerfield has committed an unprecedented $100 million in initial funding to support the alliance.

Spearheaded by Harvard Office of Technology Development (OTD), the alliance is expected to catalyse the development of novel therapeutics and rapidly drive innovations toward clinical validation.

A private company wholly owned by affiliates of Deerfield, Lab1636 will support Harvard R&D projects throughout various stages of drug discovery and development.

For example enabling studies to explicate the biology of disease, validate therapeutic targets, or achieve a proof-of-concept necessary for filing an Investigational New Drug (IND) application.

“The sheer scope of this collaboration with Deerfield may prove transformative for Harvard research,” said Vivian Berlin, Managing Director, Strategic Partnerships in OTD.

“This alliance has immense potential to bridge the development gap, ensure continuity of resources, and complement our other major translational programs, such as the Blavatnik Biomedical Accelerator.”

Harvard’s R&D projects to be funded by Lab1636 will be selected by a joint advisory committee, and the projects will be initiated by principal investigators from labs across the University.

The projects will generally focus on the development of novel therapeutics, ideally advancing many to a stage that would enable the filing of an IND application and, if successful, the commencement of clinical trials in patients.