Northwestern University announced a deal to create a $65 million venture play with New York City-based Deerfield Management to support drug development at the university.
Lakeside Discovery will target funding and development expertise to advance "novel biomedical discoveries" at the university and strengthen its reputation as an academic medical research center, officials said in a release.
Lakeside will take on projects approved by a joint steering committee comprised of members from Northwestern's and Deerfield's scientific leadership teams which have a complete development plan, including experiments needed to reach investigational new drug status.
“Lakeside will highlight Chicago as a preeminent hub for tomorrow’s cures, with the best medical researchers and clinicians working to improve the lives of patients,” said Alicia Löffler, executive director of Northwestern’s Innovation and New Ventures Office (INVO), in a statement.
The creation of the fund comes as the university plans to open its new Louis A. Simpson and Kimberly K. Querrey Biomedical Research Center in 2019.
The university also has a number of investment partnerships including Baxter International and AbbVie, but none of this size, the Chicago Tribune reported. Deerfield has a similar arrangement with other universities, including Johns Hopkins University.
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Deerfield officials said the group is investing in Northwestern, in part, because of its track record in translational research in drug development. Researchers at Northwestern discovered fibromyalgia drug Lyrica, marketed by Pfizer.
“Additionally, supporting life-science discovery with INVO as a resource can help enhance the ecosystem at large in Chicago,” said James Flynn, Deerfield’s managing partner.