Industry-Sponsored Research Week

BridgeBio and U Florida sign strategic collaboration to advance gene therapies

By David Schwartz
Published: June 23rd, 2020

The University of Florida (UF) has entered into a strategic collaboration with BridgeBio Pharma, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharma company focused on genetic diseases. They’ll team up in an effort to translate research in genetically driven disease towards clinical development and potential commercialization. The partnership combines UF’s expertise in genetic research and gene therapy with BridgeBio’s ability to efficiently advance therapeutics from the lab through preclinical studies and into human testing.

BridgeBio’s business is built on the belief that, too often, promising research in academia sits on the shelf without partners to move it forward. The company’s mission is to bring as much of that research forward as possible by focusing on establishing partnerships with leading academic institutions.
“The scientists at University of Florida are recognized as leaders in research dedicated to genetically driven diseases, especially in the area of gene therapy. We are proud and eager to collaborate with them to push potential therapies forward for patients in need,” said BridgeBio CEO and founder Neil Kumar, PhD.

The company will sponsor select research programs around diseases with a genetic basis, including gene therapies and large and small molecules, guiding researchers in medicinal chemistry for small-molecule hit optimization, strategies to modify or formulate a potential biologic therapy, and approaches for testing non-optimized viral vectors. BridgeBio may also conduct proof-of-concept studies for lead therapeutic compounds in relevant mammalian models.

“Great academic research scientists at the University of Florida have produced groundbreaking research, and through a partnership with BridgeBio we hope to turn more of that research into approved medicines for patients,” said Jim O’Connell, UF’s assistant vice president for commercialization. “BridgeBio has shown it understands the complexities in advancing gene therapies toward clinical development for patients in need — regardless of the size of an indication. We are encouraged by the company’s ability to advance multiple programs in parallel and commitment to patient communities. It is gratifying to see a drug development company take inspiration from the work that we are doing.”

BridgeBio seeks to create a new model of partnership between drug development companies and research institutions by moving away from one-off interactions and building long-term partnerships based on trust and continuous engagement.

Source: GlobeNewswire

Posted under: University-Industry Engagement Week

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