Washington’s Life Sciences Discovery Fund Announces POC Awards, Inaugural Matching Grants

SEATTLE, Washington, December 15, 2014 – The Life Sciences Discovery Fund (LSDF) today announced $1.2 million in Proof of Concept grants to Washington-based organizations to foster the advancement of promising health-related technologies to commercial products. Also announced were two commercialization-focused awards, totaling $600,000, through a new funding program requiring external cash matching. 

The LSDF Board of Trustees selected the awardees following review of proposals for scientific and technical merit, commercial potential, and health and economic benefits to Washington.

The five Proof of Concept grants focus on new therapies for cancer, diabetic macular edema, hepatitis B, and severe epilepsy, as well as technology to help surgeons accurately locate non-palpable breast tumors during lumpectomy procedures.

“It’s very rewarding for our board to help our state’s innovators address urgent health-care challenges through our Proof of Concept granting program,” said board chair Carol Dahl. “Notably, this latest set of awardees is developing new products to tackle major causes of suffering and death in Washington.”

LSDF executive director John DesRosier further noted that “our new Matching grants program allows us to stretch state dollars further and multiply the impact of each LSDF dollar by requiring co-investment from other sources.”

“We have been gratified by the interest in the Matching grants program, the quality of proposals received, and the eagerness of investors, donors, and major companies to partner with our applicants.”

The first cohort of Matching grants centers on development of a new oral drug for celiac disease and an innovative software solution that enables patient-specific treatment during continuous cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

LSDF is now accepting pre-proposals from Washington for-profit and non-profit organizations for the second cycle of the 2014-2015 Matching and Proof of Concept granting programs. The next pre-proposal submission deadline for both programs is January 7, 2015. For more details, please visit the LSDF website at http://www.lsdfa.org/, email programs@lsdfa.org, or call 206-456-9577.

Funding for the new awards comes from Washington’s allocation of payments under the Master Tobacco Settlement Agreement of 1998, revenues arising from multi-state litigation with tobacco product manufacturers.

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