Tech Transfer eNews Blog

UNC Chapel Hill partners with OpenBench to accelerate commercialization of new drugs


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: November 16th, 2022

The University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill is collaborating with OpenBench, a success-driven service for small molecule discovery, to support the development and commercialization of new drugs coming out of the university.

“Carolina has world-renowned foundational research expertise in cancer, infectious diseases, neuroscience, and other disease areas,” says Penny Gordon-Larsen, Interim Vice Chancellor for Research at UNC Chapel Hill. “Our new collaboration with OpenBench will provide our researchers with opportunities to access cutting-edge, virtual screening methodologies to accelerate translation of novel biological discoveries into potential therapeutic products.”

Under the partnership, UNC Chapel Hill researchers will nominate promising disease targets for screening. In turn, OpenBench will conduct virtual screens to discover lead candidates developed by UNC researchers for further development. Upon successful discovery, the company will receive payments from UNC Chapel Hill. In addition, OpenBench will be entitled to royalty proceeds on a target-by-target basis.

“We are excited to apply success-driven discovery to accelerate the development and commercialization of life-saving science at one of the country’s premier public research institutes,” says James Yoder, CTO and co-founder of OpenBench.

“As Carolina researchers develop critical therapeutics for cancer and other diseases, we look for new and innovative ways to move potential treatments to market faster, so that patients can benefit sooner,” says Michelle Bolas, Chief Innovation Officer at UNC Chapel Hill. “We are delighted to team with OpenBench to unlock the commercial and therapeutic potential of emerging scientific discoveries.”

Source: UNC Research

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