New DRIVE for Drug Development & Innovation

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An innovative new commercialization partner has arrived at Emory University; DRIVE (Drug Innovation Ventures at Emory, LLC). DRIVE is a new public-private drug development enterprise and not-for-profit entity separate from, but wholly owned by Emory, that will expand the capabilities of traditional academic drug research, combining the expertise of Emory scientists with a proven business and management team. DRIVE will provide the financial, business, project management, and regulatory expertise to move drugs through lead optimization and pre-clinical testing and into proof-of-concept clinical trials. Its ultimate goal is to transition scientific discoveries more rapidly, effectively, and efficiently.

Emory OTT is excited to have this new avenue available to move discoveries forward from the lab to the market. Universities have typically had difficulty moving promising projects through this stage of development often referred to as the “Valley of Death.” Technologies with proof-of-concept clinical data will have significantly more value and less risk and can then be out-licensed to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, partnered with foundations or government entities, or spun-out into newly formed companies financed by venture capital firms.

DRIVE will finance its initial efforts with $10 million in funding received from the monetization of royalties associated with the HIV drug emtricitabine (Emtriva) and additional funding from governmental agencies, partner institutions, as well as contributions from philanthropic and investment groups. The new enterprise will also invest Emory’s share of financial gains from technology transfer into research, education, and patient care.

For more information about DRIVE or to hear what other people are saying about this innovative drug commercialization venture please see: Emory University News, Fierce Biotech, & Atlanta Business Chronicle.