Harvard University researchers may be able to get drugs to market far quicker after a hedge fund plowed $100 million into a new research-and-development partnership.
Deerfield Management, a specialist healthcare investor, will provide the funds to create a joint partnership called Lab1636, a nod to the university’s founding date.
The funding will go toward pioneering life science and biomedical research with the aim of developing novel therapeutics for market use.
Harvard has launched more than 70 startups in the past five years, most of them life-sciences companies, university officials told The Boston Globe.
Deerfield is no stranger to investing in universities, and it has similar deals in place with other entities such as the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Northwestern University, Johns Hopkins University, and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.
Deerfield has been profitable for at least the past five years, according to Institutional Investor. The hedge fund has posted double-digit returns in four of the past five years and gained nearly 11% in 2018 — a time when major equity indexes finished the year down.
R&D projects funded by Lab1636 will be selected by a joint advisory committee.
“By working with an alliance partner who is prepared to support early-stage research and to invest in the success of preclinical and clinical-stage commercial development, we’re enhancing the opportunities for Harvard’s life-changing innovations to reach patients in need,” said Isaac Kohlberg, the senior associate provost and chief technology development officer at Harvard.