Columbia University & Investment Firm Deerfield Management Ink $130M Drug Development Deal

Jun 6, 2019 | Academic Medical Center, Drug Development, Partnership, Private Equity

Major academic centers such as Columbia University capitalize on opportunity to form drug development partnerships directly private equity Investors such as Deerfield

Columbia University will partner with Deerfield Management to form a drug research and development alliance to advanced biomedical discoveries into therapeutics with a focus on high unmet need and rare diseases. The two institutions have formed a new venture called Hudson Heights Innovation.  Up to $130 million of initial funding will be infused into the venture over the next 10 years.

Columbia Technology Ventures  will lead the effort on behalf of the prestigious New York academic medical center.  This deal represents a considerable trend toward universities seeking to monetize their life science intellectual property—from basic research through translational to clinical to bedside. Orin Herskowitch with Columbia quoted “Universities like Columbia are increasingly focusing on trying to ensure that scientific insights are generated in the research lab actually turn into products and services that are out in the market and can benefit patients and society.”

TrialSite News observes an intensifying trend with significant implications.  That research institutions—often non-profit or academic—are discovering private equity partnerships.  What perhaps would be a pharmaceutical company a decade ago now a deep pocketed private equity institution that is increasingly focusing on the subject matter domain—such as oncology or central nervous system—for investments represents an emerging new world with a myriad of opportunity to drive development of new innovative therapies that heretofore were not possible.