Deerfield commits $50M-plus to translational drug R&D at the Broad

Eric Lander

Deerfield Management and the famous Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard have come up with a novel plan for pursuing translational drug research work.

In the deal announced this morning, Deerfield will invest more than $50 million into projects at the Broad over the next five years. And the biotech investor plans to follow up with support to create new biotechs out of the research, with “significant additional resources” available for development work.

“Over the last decade, scientific advances have made it possible to rapidly understand the biological basis of disease at unprecedented resolution,” said Eric Lander, president and founding director of the Broad Institute. “The challenge now is to develop ways to speed the process of turning these scientific insights into therapies that benefit patients.”

Deerfield isn’t stopping there. It plans to transfer any profits for its Healthcare Innovations Fund over to its philanthropic arm, which will be used to support its nonprofit work.

James Flynn

“Over the last few years, Broad Institute researchers have developed a number of unprecedented biological insights and therapeutic hypotheses that are early-stage but potentially transformative,” said James Flynn, Managing Partner of Deerfield. “Moving these hypotheses from the lab toward the clinic requires significant financial resources to build on work launched by philanthropy and grants, and are not yet far enough along to attract traditional venture funding or pharmaceutical collaborations. We are prepared to fund and develop these projects so Broad researchers can immediately pursue bold ideas, and have confidence that real breakthroughs will have additional support to move toward clinical success.”

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