– Duke University and Deerfield Management Company form major translation research collaboration company, Four Points Innovation.
– Deerfield will invest up to $130 million of initial funding to accelerate drug discovery at Duke for 10 years.
Duke University and Deerfield Management Company, a healthcare investment firm has announced the creation of a major translational research collaboration company, Four Points Innovation. Spearheaded by Duke University’s Office of Licensing & Ventures (OLV), the alliance is expected to accelerate the preclinical development of new drugs for improved quality of life and cures for disease.
Up to $130M Focused on Accelerating Drug Discovery
As part of the collaboration, Deerfield will invest up to $130M of initial funding to back the initiative for 10 years. Deerfield also will provide development expertise in support of Duke’s innovative drug research across a span of high-need therapeutic areas, as well as those targeting patients who suffer from hard-to-treat and rare diseases.
Four Points Innovation Investment Focus Areas
A private company wholly owned by affiliates of Deerfield, Four Points Innovation will support Duke R&D projects throughout preclinical stages of drug discovery and development. Beginning approximately in March 2020, Duke researchers will have the ability to submit proposals on projects for consideration by a Four Points Innovation committee comprised of scientific leadership representing both Duke and Deerfield.
Accepted projects will include a development plan aimed at achieving Investigational New Drug (IND) readiness. Deerfield will provide funding and operational support for accepted projects, and successful projects that achieve IND-enabled status may be eligible for additional capital from Deerfield. Under the terms of the agreement, Four Points Innovation would receive an option to license Four Points Innovation-funded intellectual property developed at Duke.
Duke’s History of Startup Innovation
Duke’s Office of Licensing and Ventures broke previous records last year with 354 invention disclosures, 120 agreements, and 32 exclusive agreements. Duke faculty and staff formed sixteen new start-up companies during the year, bringing the university’s total to over 140 new companies. Over the last two years, 29 of the university’s 32 startups have chosen to stay in North Carolina.
Impact of Four Points Innovation
“This is an exciting day for Duke and the patients we serve,” said Mary E. Klotman, MD, Dean, Duke University School of Medicine and Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs. “This new partnership will help further Duke’s commitment to improve the lives of people in our own community and around the world by supporting and accelerating the translation of research into new therapies to treat and cure society’s most formidable healthcare challenges.”
Featured image credit: NCATS