Investment of up to $65 million will boost medical innovation at Northwestern
Northwestern University and Deerfield Management announced today (May 31) the launch of Lakeside Discovery, LLC, with the mission to accelerate the translation of transformative biomedical technologies. Deerfield will provide up to $65 million of targeted funding and deep development expertise to advance promising Northwestern research.
“Lakeside Discovery, together with the 2019 opening of the Louis A. Simpson and Kimberly K. Querrey Biomedical Research Center, will further strengthen Northwestern’s position as one of the leading academic medical research centers in the world,” said Alicia Löffler, executive director of Northwestern’s Innovation and New Ventures Office (INVO). “Northwestern has a long history in therapeutic innovation that started with the discovery of Lyrica 30 years ago. Lakeside will accelerate the translation of these life-saving innovations.
“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 Löffler, who is also the University’s associate provost for innovation and new ventures and associate vice president for research. “We are excited to partner with Deerfield Management on this transformational new venture.”
Lakeside will tackle projects approved by a joint steering committee comprised of members from the Northwestern and Deerfield scientific leadership teams. Northwestern members will initially include Eric G. Neilson, MD, vice president for Medical Affairs and the Lewis Landsberg Dean in the Feinberg School of Medicine; Richard Silverman, the Patrick G. Ryan/Aon Professor of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences in Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences; and Löffler.
The Northwestern committee members will use their experiential scientific knowledge, in consultation with Deerfield, to assess each proposal’s potential biological and commercial success. Projects will be selected based on many criteria, with an emphasis on the novelty of biological insight, regardless of its stage of development.
Projects accepted by Lakeside will be supported with a complete development plan, including vital experiments needed to reach Investigational New Drug (IND)-readiness in an expedited time frame. Deerfield also will support Lakeside with operational expertise.
Successful IND-ready projects will have access to additional Deerfield capital, accelerating the time to market by eliminating the need for investigators to perform other capital raises.
“Northwestern’s first-class track record and leadership position in basic and translational research, exceptional investigators and forward-thinking leadership, combined with Lakeside’s ability to execute projects, creates the perfect synergistic system for drug development,” said James Flynn, Deerfield’s managing partner. “Additionally, supporting life-science discovery with INVO as a resource can help enhance the ecosystem at large in Chicago. We are looking forward to a very productive collaboration.”
Over the past decade, Northwestern has captured more than $4.2 billion in National Institutes of Health funding. The collaboration between Deerfield and the University will add to an already thriving healthcare community in Chicago that includes research institutions like Northwestern, major healthcare industry partners and innovative tech spaces.