The Harrington Project

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The Harrington Project for Discovery & Development is a $250 million national initiative[1] to accelerate the development of medical breakthroughs by physician-scientists into medicines. It is a model that aligns: through mission non-profit and for-profit elements into a new system for drug development. This model allows therapies to cross the “valley of death[2]” between research, discovery, and early clinical-stage drug development.

Non-Profit Institute

University Hospitals Harrington Discovery Institute (HDI)

The institute was established through a $50 million gift from the Harrington family[1] and an additional $100 million in support from University Hospitals. The Institute is led by Dr. Jonathan Stamler, a cardiologist and pulmonologist who had 16 years of research experience at Duke University.[3] Dr. Stamler has co-founded five companies and is the author of more than 125 patents, and has been recognized by the Kauffman Foundation for being among the “Top Innovators in America.” He was a recipient of the 2013 American Heart Association Distinguished Scientist Award [4]

Initiatives to advance the goals of the program include:

  • The Harrington Scholar-Innovator Program: An annual competitive grant program, which selects the 10 most promising physician-scientist discoveries and provides funding and guidance to accelerate the development of those discoveries. In its first year, the program attracted 130 applications from 53 institutions.[5] The Harrington Scholar-Innovators from 2013-2014 included:[5][6]

Class of 2013 Scholars Class of 2014 Scholars
Marc Diamond, MD
Washington University in St. Louis
Jayakrishna Ambati, MD
University of Kentucky
Age Related Macular Degeneration
Roger Greenberg, MD/PhD
University of Pennsylvania
Breast Cancer and Ovarian Cancer
Darren Carpizo, MD, PhD
Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
Geoffrey Gurtner, MD
Stanford University
Diabetic Wound Healing
Garret FitzGerald, MD
University of Pennsylvania
Hypertension and Atherosclerosis
Richard Kitsis, MD
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Myocardial Infarction
Mark Humayun, MD, PhD
University of Southern California
Ischemic Retinal Diseases
Wolfgang Liedtke, MD/PhD
Duke University
John Kheir, MD
Harvard University
Hypoxemia and Cardiac Arrest
Sanford Markowitz MD/PhD
Case Western Reserve University
Liver Regeneration
Rahul Kohli, MD, PhD
University of Pennsylvania
Bacterial Drug Resistance
Scott Oakes, MD and Feroz Papa, MD/PhD
University of California, San Francisco
Gavril Pasternak, MD, PhD
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
Pain Management
Jonathan Powell, MD/PhD
Johns Hopkins University
Diabetes and Obesity
Irina Petrache, MD
Indiana University
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Larry Schlesinger, MD
Ohio State University
David Rowitch, MD, PhD
University of California, San Francisco
Neonatal Brain Injury and Stroke
Robert Wilson, MD/PhD
University of Pennsylvania
Jean Tang, MD, PhD
Stanford University
Basal Cell Carcinoma
David Wald, MD, PhD
Case Western Reserve University
Acute Myeloid Leukemia

This program, along with the Innovation Support Center, provides up to $200,000 per scholar and guidance from the Innovation Support Center. The projects are eligible for additional follow-on grant funding from the Institute if they are advancing successfully.
  • The Harrington Distinguished Scholars Program: A program that recruits experienced physician-scientists to become faculty and staff at University Hospitals Case Medical Center, securing the campus’s reputation as a hub for innovation. In spring 2012, Goutham Narla, former faculty member at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, was recruited as the first Distinguished Scholar to University Hospitals Case Medical Center and Case Western Reserve University (CWRU).[7] He currently works as a medical geneticist with research focus on high-risk breast cancer patients, and also teaches at CWRU’s medical school.[7]
  • Harrington-Foundation Scholar Awards: This program will provide matching grants to foundations already supporting disease-specific research by creating of a new award for physician-scientist, who will benefit from expert guidance through the Innovation Support Center.

National Innovation Support Center (ISC)

The National Innovation Support Center provides mentorship, resource connections, and business support to assist physician-scientists. The Center, which will be guided by experienced industry and investment professionals and led by Perry Molinoff, MD,[8] will develop relationships between inventors and industry experts and entrepreneurs to prepare their discoveries for advancement to commercialization. An annual symposium brings together the Scholar-Innovators and members of the Institute’s Scientific Advisory Board to discuss their discoveries and the advancement of those projects.

For-Profit Company

BioMotiv is a mission-driven, for-profit accelerator company, designed to accelerate breakthrough discoveries into medicines by advancing a portfolio of novel therapeutics in all disease areas and types of therapeutics — small molecules, antibodies, proteins, cell therapies, and nucleotides – from the discovery to pre-clinical stages of development and will also consider drug repurposing opportunities. The company is an independent entity. Opportunities are sourced primarily through relationships with research institutions, disease foundations, and governments.

The company attracted Baiju R. Shah, former CEO of BioEnterprise (a non-profit aimed at boosting Cleveland’s healthcare economy),[9] to lead its efforts.[10][11] Prior to founding BioEnterprise, Baiju Shah worked at McKinsey & Company.[12] David C. U’Prichard, PhD is its Chief Scientific Officer; he has served on a number of biotechnology boards, as a venture partner at several funds, and was Chairman of Research and Development at SmithKline Beecham. BioMotiv’s advisory board includes David U’Prichard, PhD, Ronald M. Cresswell, PhD, Christine Debouck, PhD, Frank Douglas, MD, PhD, Diane Jorkasky, MD, Perry Molinoff, MD, Michael Nochomovitz, MD, Lawrence Olanoff, MD, PhD, Srini Rao, MD, PhD, Jonathan Stamler, MD, and Harlan Weisman, MD.

The company has raised $46 million to date, with a goal of raising $100 million in total.[13] Additionally, BioMotiv and Torrey Pines Investment announced a joint investment partnership in August 2013. [14] On September 9, 2013, BioMotiv announced the launch of its first company, Orca Pharmaceuticals, based in Oxford, England, in collaboration with the New York University Innovation Venture Fund.[15] One month later, BioMotiv announced the formation of Dual Therapeutics with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. [16] Then in November, BioMotiv and the Foundation Fighting Blindness announced they will fund $400,000 for a discovery-stage project that could lead to treatment for Retinitis pigmentosa (RP). [17]

Currently, BioMotiv has a partnership with Cures Within Reach to advance Rediscovery Research™ projects targeted at lung cancer via a joint request for proposals issued to leading academic medical centers.[18]

In response to recent decline in the number of traditional biotechnology venture capital firms,[19] BioMotiv utilizes an asset-centric model to in-license, fund, and manage technologies in-house.[20] The business model aligns a capable and connected management team and advisors for the selection, development, funding, active management, and advancement of a portfolio of therapeutic products. Projects will be advanced by the management team through clinical proof-of-concept and then out-licensed via strategic alliances with pharmaceutical companies.[21]

See also

Further reading


  1. 1.0 1.1 . MedCity News. 2012-02-28. Retrieved 2013-03-12. 
  2. "Profit/non-profit partners to carry biotech innovations across valley of death". Retrieved 12 March 2013. 
  3. . The Plain Dealer. 2012-02-29. Retrieved 2013-03-12. 
  4. . American Heart Association. 2013-11-21. Retrieved 2013-10-12. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 . The Plain Dealer. 2012-12-04. Retrieved 2013-03-12. 
  6. . 
  7. 7.0 7.1 . The Plain Dealer. 2013-01-24. Retrieved 2013-03-12. 
  8. "The Harrington Project for Discovery & Development". Retrieved 12 March 2013. 
  9. . The Plain Dealer. 2009-06-28. Retrieved 2013-03-12. 
  10. . Crain's Cleveland Business. 2012-07-18. Retrieved 2012-07-19. 
  11. . The Plain Dealer. 2012-07-18. Retrieved 2013-03-12. 
  12. "Baiju Shah". Forbes. Retrieved 12 March 2013. 
  13. BioMotiv garners $46M for early-stage licensing deals, R&D work.
  15. MedCity News 2013-09-09
  16. MedCity News 2013-10-09
  17. BioMotiv 2013-11-01
  18. Crain's Cleveland Business, BioMotiv LLC forms partnership with nonprofit to find new uses for existing medicines, 2013-09-16
  19. Booth, Bruce (2012-07-23). Forbes. Retrieved 2013-03-12. 
  20. . MedCity News. 2012-12-04. Retrieved 2013-03-12. 

External links