Business Development
September 19, 2013


U-M Business 
Engagement Center



Update on SBIR/STTR Opportunities
Workshop Featuring National Cancer Institute Expert
There's still time to register to attend a special workshop for U-M faculty hosted by Ming Zhao, Ph.D., Program Director of the National Cancer Institute's SBIR Development Center!

Tuesday, September 24
4:00 PM - Session 
5:30 PM - Networking 
Research Auditorium
Building 10, NCRC

The SBIR Program funds early-stage research and development at small businesses. And a unique feature of the STTR Program is the requirement for the small business applicant organization to formally collaborate with a research institution in Phase I and Phase II. Both programs are the NIH's engine of innovation for developing and commercializing novel technologies and products to prevent, diagnose, and treat human diseases.   

At this FREE event you'll hear more about: 
  • Cancer-focused federal funding for small businesses and faculty opportunities for NIH SBIR/STTR and contract funding opportunities from NCI. 
  • Current and upcoming changes in NIH's SBIR/STTR programs. 
  • Practical strategies for developing successful proposals. 
Other speakers will include: 
Jack Miner, Director, U-M Venture Center 
Michael Kurek, Ph.D., M.B.A., Partner, BBC Entrepreneurial Training & Consulting 
Andrea Johanson, Ph.D., Principal Consultant, BBC Entrepreneurial Training & Consulting 

"Fast forwarding" commercial projects is a key mission of the UMHS Strategic Research Initiative, and the Business Development team is excited to host this unique opportunity for you learn from a panel of proven experts.

First Round of MTRAC Proposals 
Evaluation Under Way for Projects in $7.5 Million Fund
The U-M Michigan Translational Research and Commercialization for Life Sciences Program (MTRAC) closed its first round of proposal acceptance on September 17, with 39 proposals submitted by collaborators from over 20 departments and units within the Medical School.

This round of proposals targets the four market segments of devices, diagnostics, therapeutics and digital health/IT, and will be evaluated over the course of the fall by an oversight committee comprising global business experts and U-M leaders in translational science and tech transfer. Proposals will be judged on the basis of scientific merit, potential health care impact and significance, the potential for commercialization, and likelihood of obtaining further support.

"MTRAC is a key segment in the Strategic Research Initiative," noted Steven Kunkel, Ph.D., and UMMS Senior Associate Dean for Research. "Projects awarded funding will not only have potential to impact human health, they will have the best chance for commercialization and ultimately job creation, too." 

Launched earlier this summer by the Medical School in partnership with the Office of the Vice President for Research, the Office of Technology Transfer, and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, MTRAC supports funding for proof-of-concept and other early-stage development studies, regulatory guidance, and consultation and mentoring from industry and investment experts outside the University.

View more information about U-M MTRAC for Life Sciences.
MedImmune Renews Agreement
null On September 1, the U-M Medical School and MedImmune, the global biologics arm of AstraZeneca, renewed their agreement to work together on projects that aim to translate scientific discoveries from the laboratory into new candidates for treating cancer and other diseases.

Teams lead by Judy Leopold, Ph.D., Jacques Nor, Ph.D., and Max Wicha, M.D., will continue to work in partnership with MedImmune to pursue a path from pre-clinical to translational research on projects designed to identify and confirm the specific molecules and genes involved in causing disease, and potential molecules and cell-based therapies to treat or prevent them.

"Bridging discovery to clinical expertise is one of the strengths we bring to the partnership with MedImmune," noted Colin Duckett, Ph.D., pictured above with U-M's Jacques Nor, Ph.D., as well as MedImmune's David Tice, Ph.D. and Robert Hollingsworth, Ph.D. "These projects in oncology are a perfect example of the wide collaborative teams that are possible here at the University of Michigan."
Kickoff! Host Microbiome Initiative
NIH Expert Special Guest Speaker
null Launching the Host Microbiome Program of the Strategic Research Initiative, UMMS welcomes Dr. Lita Proctor, NIH Human Microbiome project manager as she take a closer look at the human microbiome and its role in health and disease.   

Thursday, September 26
3:00 PM 
M5330, Med Sci I   
Zingerman's Refreshments

Dr. Proctor will discuss the NIH Human Microbiome Project, an 8-year, $194M program to produce microbiome data, computational tools, and scientific approaches as community resources to support this emerging field.   

Other speakers will include: 
Harry Mobley, Ph.D. 
Thomas Schmidt, Ph.D. 
Vincent Young, M.D., Ph.D. 

Join these U-M leaders in the field as they kick off the Host Microbiome Program of the UMHS Strategic Research Initiative, working to "fast forward" innovative research at the University of Michigan.   

U-M Start-Up OncoMed IPO
$82 Million Raised
null OncoMed Pharmaceuticals, a company started at the University of Michigan in 2004, recently raised $82 million in an initial public offering. 

The company stemmed from research in 2003 that identified cancer stem cells in breast cancer, the first time that these cells had been found in a solid tumor. Cancer stem cells represent about 1 percent to 5 percent of all the cells in the tumor but are believed to be the cells that fuel the tumor's growth. 

OncoMed has licensed cancer stem cell technologies from the University of Michigan and currently has five cancer stem cell-targeting drugs in the clinic. Two more are expected to be introduced into the clinic in 2014. The U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center has been a major site for phase I trials testing these agents. The funds raised from the IPO will enable OncoMed to move these agents to phase II trials. 

Max S. Wicha, M.D., Distinguished Professor of Oncology and director of the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center, was part of the initial discovery and co-founded OncoMed along with Michael Clarke, M.D., who is now at Stanford University. Wicha is a leading cancer stem cell researcher. 

"Hopefully, these trials will demonstrate the validity of the cancer stem cell model, with cancer stem cell-targeted therapeutics improving the outlook for our patients. For me it's exciting to be a part of this process and to see our discoveries translated into the clinic," Wicha says.
About Us
The Business Development team at the University of Michigan Medical School works to drive innovative industry engagement to support research, develop potential novel funding mechanisms, and foster a culture that supports commercialization activities and entrepreneurship. We help UMMS faculty and strategic partners collaborate, with the ultimate goal of accelerating research and technology to improve human health. To connect, email us or call 734-615-5060.
Office of Research
Business Development is a part of the Office of Research, where our mission is to foster an environment of innovation and efficiency that serves the U-M Medical School community and supports biomedical science from insight to impact.