Chicago Tribute reports the University of Illinois will receive up to $65 million from investment management firm Deerfield Management to help develop and commercialize new drugs. The two are launching a new venture called West Loop Innovations that will exist to help commercialize and monetize university inventions.  It is a part of a major trend across the nation—the country’s academic medical centers are transforming into big time drug developers.

At the University of Illinois, there is a recognition they are not experts at commercialization. Hence the partnership with Deerfield Management and the formation of West Loop Innovations. Now with a commercialization arm the university will aggressively work to develop new innovative therapies from discovery through development.  The two will share the revenues via some form of revenue share agreement.

The University of Illinois has three drugs on the market from past efforts including:

  • Prezista, an anti-HIV drug sold by Janssen Therapeutics
  • Tice BCG, a bladder cancer drug sold by Merck
  • Shingrix, a shingles vaccines sold by GSK

The university is targeting $40 million in revenue from all of its intellectual property this year—most originates from the three drugs. Deerfield also formed a similar partnership with Northwestern University.  Announcing the deal last year it led to help Northwestern bring drugs to market. Deerfield is inking deals with other universities across the country.

Source: Chicagotribune

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