Tech Transfer Central

Accelerating Biomedical Innovation and Commercialization in the University Setting: The University of Michigan Fast-Forward Medical Innovation Program

Format: On-Demand Video/Transcript, or DVD
Originally presented: November 30, 2016

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Price: $197
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The biggest rewards often come from the toughest challenges and the most perilous risks, and for TTOs working with life sciences and biomedical technologies, those are words to live by.

Drugs and other biomedical innovations make up the vast majority of “home run” technologies coming out of university labs, with rewards sometimes in the hundreds of millions of dollars. But getting life sciences technologies from the lab to the market is a long road that’s filled with unique and complex challenges. To give themselves the best chance of success, some universities have established separate commercialization entities for biomedical innovations that are specifically organized around those unique challenges – issues like funding, regulatory requirements, clinical trial management, and lengthy, costly development pathways.   

One of the most successful examples is the University of Michigan’s Fast Forward Medical Innovation (FFMI) program, and our Distance Learning Division has lined up its leadership for a case study webinar that will detail its best practices and strategies, so you can adapt them in your own commercialization efforts. 

Accelerating Biomedical Innovation and Commercialization in the University Setting: The University of Michigan Fast-Forward Medical Innovation Program

FFMI has developed a proven template for advancing biomedical and life science technologies from “idea to impact” as smoothly and quickly as possible. Here’s a brief look at the agenda:

  • An overview of UM’s Fast Froward Medical Innovation (FFMI) program
  • Best practices and lessons learned from the FFMI/Tech Transfer collaboration to spur biomedical innovation
  • The nuts and bolts:
    • How teams of biomedical innovators are mentored
    • How additional funding streams are identified and secured
    • How critical milestones are set
    • How customer discovery is performed
    • How potential industry partners are engaged
  • The timeline and integration of FFMI and UM Tech Transfer in accelerating innovation from bench to bedside
  • UM Tech Transfer’s role in licensing and start-up formation

Plus, learn about the programs FFMI offers, including:

  • Innovation, Commercialization, and Entrepreneurship Education programs providing toolkits for future innovators, including an Early Technology Development course modeled on the NSF’s I-Corps program but designed for the busy academician.
  • Industry Partnership Models from FFMI’s business development team, creating new collaborations and partnerships between industry and academic researchers.
  • Innovation Navigator providing milestone-driven funding and mentorship in partnership with the Office ofTechnology Transfer and other entrepreneurial organizations on campus.

By integrating these strategies, teams of biomedical innovators are mentored, additional funding streams are identified and secured, critical milestones are set, customer discovery is performed, and potential industry partners are engaged. The result: licenses to industry partners and new start-ups. This successful collaborative environment has been recognized by the State of Michigan, which provides FFMI and UM Tech Transfer with support for the Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization (MTRAC) for Life Sciences Innovation Hub, a state-wide program that acts as a catalyst for economic growth.   

Your Expert Presenters:

Connie ChangConnie Chang, MBA
Managing Director
Fast Forward Medical Innovation

As the Managing Director of FFMI, Connie launched and now leads the medical school-wide program to accelerate commercialization, industry collaborations and entrepreneurship for biomedical innovation.  Connie joined the University of Michigan in 2009 after a 15-year career in business in Boston and New York, including nearly 12 years of experience in the pharmaceuticals industry.  Her first role at the U-M Medical School was forming and launching a Business Development team tasked with growing industry-academic research alliances.  Prior to joining U-M, Connie worked outside of Boston at Sepracor as Senior Director and brand team leader for the prescription pharmaceutical products Lunesta and Xopenex.  Before that, she worked at Pfizer’s headquarters in New York on well-known pharmaceutical brands such as Zyrtec, Lipitor, and Zoloft, as well as serving as Director of Regional Marketing for the New England region.

Bryce PilzBryce Pilz, JD
Director of Licensing
University of Michigan Tech Transfer

As the Director of Licensing for U-M Tech Transfer, Bryce supports the licensing staff in working with faculty to commercialize inventions created at U-M. Bryce works closely with partners from other U-M entrepreneurship-related programs to support technology venture creation and entrepreneurship. Prior to assuming a leadership role at U-M Tech Transfer, Bryce was faculty at U-M Law School where he co-founded the Entrepreneurship Clinic and taught courses related to IP strategy and venture capital. Bryce previously practiced law at Kirkland & Ellis LLP in the firm’s intellectual property practice. He has also served as Associate General Counsel at the University of Michigan, where he worked with the Office of Technology Transfer on startups and licensing. Bryce has served as a National Science Foundation I-Corps mentor and a Techstars mentor.

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