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March 14, 2019

Deerfield commits $100m for translational research deal with Harvard

Healthcare investment firm Deerfield Management has formed a strategic alliance with Harvard University for research and development focused on new translational medicine.

Healthcare investment firm Deerfield Management has formed a strategic partnership with Harvard University for research and development (R&D) focused on new translational medicine.

Deerfield has agreed to fund the alliance with through a newly launched firm called Lab1636, and has donated $100m.

Lab1636 will be wholly owned by Deerfield affiliates and support Harvard’s R&D projects throughout different drug discovery and development stages.

The partners will work to accelerate the development and translation of biomedical and life-science innovations into new therapies, and drive them towards clinical validation.

The company could assist Harvard researchers in validating therapeutic targets, or aid them in reaching the proof-of-concept required to file an investigational new drug (IND) application.

“The university’s outstanding science, breadth of technologies, and mix of esteemed junior and senior faculty constitute a fertile environment for the continuous generation of novel insights.”

Harvard senior associate provost and chief technology development officer Isaac Kohlberg said: “By working with an alliance partner who is prepared to support early-stage research and to invest in the success of pre-clinical and clinical-stage commercial development, we’re enhancing the opportunities for Harvard’s life-changing innovations to reach patients in need.”

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The Deerfield Harvard partnership may also enable the University to out-licence its work to other companies. It could additionally support the launch and growth of new startups to develop Harvard technologies.

A joint advisory committee will select Harvard’s R&D projects that are to be funded by Lab1636. The projects’ focus will be development of new therapeutics and to advance majority of them to IND application and clinical trials.

Deerfield Management managing partner James Flynn said: “The university’s outstanding science, breadth of technologies, and mix of esteemed junior and senior faculty constitute a fertile environment for the continuous generation of novel insights.

“This, in combination with its experience advancing potential therapeutics, makes it the perfect place to establish an impactful translational partnership.”

Harvard expects the collaboration to bridge development gap, ensure resources and support its major translational programmes.

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