October 18-20 | Tucson, AZ

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First project funded through $65 million John Hopkins, investment firm partnership – Baltimore Business Journal

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October 18-20, 2023 / Tucson, AZ
The annual summit for research institution gap fund and accelerator programs, including proof of concept programs, startup accelerators, and university venture funds

The Story

Johns Hopkins cancer biology researcher has received the first investment from the newly created Bluefield Innovations fund.

Bluefield Innovations is a collaboration between Johns Hopkins University and New York investment firm Deerfield Management. The $65 million funding effort is aimed at helping to commercialize early-stage therapeutic research coming out of Hopkins. Deerfield is providing the initial funding over five years.

The five-year term of Bluefield Innovations will provide support and funding for about 12 Hopkins faculty and researchers. The fund did not disclose how much it would be investing in its first selected project.

This investment was made in support of Marikki Laiho, a professor of radiation oncology and director of the Division of Molecular Radiation Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Laiho’s work focuses on developing new cancer drugs, based on research around how cancer cells react when the activity of certain specific molecules is blocked.

A joint steering committee consisting of representatives from Johns Hopkinsand Deerfield selected Laiho’s research to receive the first round of support. A call for applications from other researchers will go out soon, so other investments can be made. The Bluefield program aims to support innovations through the pre-clinical development process — including basic research, proof of concept, target selection, investigational studies and anything else needed to qualify for conducting human clinical trials. Research developed within Bluefield will be licensed to third parties or spun out into new companies.

Bluefield will provide scientific, financial and operational support for Laiho’s ongoing research, to help her team identify a clinical lead molecule, or chemical compound with likely pharmacological benefits, and move a new drug candidate toward human clinical trials. The hope is the support will lead to the development of a commercial therapeutic.


Source: First project funded through $65 million Hopkins, investment firm partnership – Baltimore Business Journal

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