Through the partners’ new company, Hudson Heights Innovation, up to $130 million of initial funding will be available throughout 10 years from Deerfield and its partners. Deerfield also will provide development expertise when it comes to drug research.
Columbia Technology Ventures will helm Columbia’s part of the alliance, which the university said is expected to accelerate drug development out of its research labs and toward clinical validation in patients.
Projects that file IND applications and have them accepted—allowing them to progress into human clinical trials—may be eligible for additional funding and support from Deerfield.
Each year Columbia’s researchers create more than 400 scientific inventions, resulting in more than 200 patient applications, 100 licenses to industry and 20 intellectual property–backed startups.
“But we’re hoping to increase that number even further,” Herskowitz said. “Since New York is the home both for Columbia and Deerfield, we’re really excited this will help grow the biosciences ecosystem here in the city.”
“We hold Columbia’s research enterprise—a city in itself of preeminent research centers and institutes—in the highest regard,” said James Flynn, managing partner at Deerfield, in a statement. “And we believe that New York City is on its way to becoming a leading life science capital and the perfect venue for our collaboration with Columbia, as we collectively seek to develop new medicines to address unmet medical needs.
“The Columbia investigators will have Deerfield’s support to expedite the drug-development cycle, which we expect will allow patients to receive treatments faster and physician-scientists more time to turn their attention to the next discovery,” Flynn added.