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U of Utah launches accelerator to bring more university-developed drugs to patients


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: November 24th, 2020

The University of Utah (the U) has launched a new program to help speed the commercialization of lifesaving drugs developed by its researchers.

The University of Utah Therapeutics Accelerator Hub (U2TAH) will provide resources and guidance to researchers aiming to turn their discoveries into innovative products with clinical applications. The Partners for Innovation, Ventures, Outreach & Technology (PIVOT) Center at the U will operate the program in partnership with the Huntsman Cancer Institute and the U’s College of Pharmacy.

U2TAH is specifically intended to fill the support gap for drugs in preclinical development. Generally, these projects don’t get as much funding and therefore often fail to advance to human testing.

“Utah has an impressive tradition of innovation and fundamental discovery in biomedical research,” says Randall Peterson, dean of the College of Pharmacy. “The establishment of U2TAH will ensure that more of these innovative discoveries receive the attention and resources needed to transform them into lifesaving medicines.”

Backed by a $22.5 million investment from HCI and the College of Pharmacy, U2TAH will help facilitate this process through industry partnerships, licensing, start-up formation and other strategic efforts.

“The commitment to establish and invest in the Accelerator demonstrates how the U is building on its legacy of therapeutic discovery and research to focus on driving translational medical breakthroughs,” says Andrew Weyrich, university vice president for research. “Through these efforts, the U is making a deep cross-campus commitment to bridge discoveries into life-changing treatments for patients.”

Source: University of Utah Health

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