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The Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), a Consortium member center, has announced a request for applications (RFA) "through the Translational Product Development Fund (TPDF) for projects that have the potential to be commercialized through the formation of a start-up company or execution of a license agreement with an established commercial entity." The opportunity was announced by Tucker LeBien, PhD, who leads CTSI’s Office of Discovery and Translation. This funding is intended to foster the movement of new inventions and technologies into the marketplace, with the goal of contributing to Minnesota's economic performance. In the past 12 months, the University has successfully spun off almost 20 new businesses, and more than 130 enterprises have been started using faculty research since 2006. Learn more about the RFA and its co-funders, the Mayo Clinical Center for Clinical and Translational Science and the Minnesota Partnership for Biotechnology and Medical Genomics, here.
The Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) has received a $5.4 gift from the Walton Family Foundation to "develop and provide a roadmap for both the public and private sectors to build resilience in the global health care supply system and to improve the availability of critical medical supplies," according to the University of Minnesota. The co-directors of the team administering the project are both directors of Consortium member centers, Michael T. Osterholm at CIDRAP and Amy Kircher at the Food Protection and Defense Institute. Osterholm has been vocal about the inadequacy of drug and medical supplies in the face of a medical emergency. He notes: “We know, based on our recent experience, that there will be more and more incidents where necessary drugs or medical supplies will be unavailable to those in crisis and, increasingly, the consequences are truly about life and death.” Kircher uses the example of the aftereffects of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico: "That natural disaster not only created a public health crisis on the ground but effectively disrupted the global supply of a critical medical supply, IV bags. This work will create an opportunity for us to apply research and build operational solutions to mitigate those surprises.”
On Thursday, Nov. 29 a group of eminent scholars and researchers convened at Meharry Medical College in Nashville to evaluate the current state of precision medicine and how access to it can be improved. Conference presenters shared a wide-ranging array of information about obstacles and solutions to delivering genomic medicine in clinical settings. Perspectives and research were shared by leading African American, Native American and Latino scholars, as well as those involved in immigrant rights and other civil rights issues. This national symposium is the first to discuss legal, policy, community outreach and clinical approaches to ensure that genomic medicine advances health equity and avoids worsening health disparities. The event was presented by the Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, the Consortium, and the Minnesota Precision Medicine Collaborative. View videos of conference sessions on our YouTube channel.
The University of Minnesota has announced the purchase of a start-up company sparked by faculty research. The enterprise, CoreBiome, was founded in 2017 as part of the Office of Technology Commercialization's efforts to widen the availability of therapies and products developed at the University. According to the release, "CoreBiome provides analysis of microbial communities for human health, agricultural and environmental applications." The company acquiring CoreBiome, OraSure Technologies, is "a leader in the development, manufacturing and distribution of point-of-care diagnostic and collection devices to detect or diagnose critical medical conditions." The University is a pioneer in microbiome research; the technology behind CoreBiome was developed by researchers Dan Knights, Daryl Gohl, and Kenneth Beckman, who is Director of the University of Minnesota Genomics Center, a Consortium member.