SEATTLE, Washington, June 27, 2013 — The Life Sciences Discovery Fund (LSDF) today announced nearly $1.5 million in Proof of Concept grants to Washington for-profit and non-profit organizations to foster translation of health-related technologies from idea to market launch. Also announced was over $300,000 in supplemental funding to two ongoing grants to enhance the commercial potential of the technologies developed through those awards. (See Backgrounder Information.)
The LSDF Board of Trustees made the final award selections following review of proposals for scientific and technical merit, commercial potential, and possible health and economic benefits.
The six Proof of Concept grants will advance the development of products to better prevent, diagnose, or treat brain injury, infectious diseases, and cancer. Funding will also support applications of information technology to improve the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of medical care.
“LSDF continues to be impressed with the high quality of the technologies emerging from Washington’s research organizations and companies, and we are pleased this quarter to announce our largest cohort of commercialization-focused awards to date,” stated LSDF executive director John DesRosier. “These grants are intended to accelerate commercial development of promising technologies that will enhance the health of Washington’s residents and contribute to economic prosperity.”
The grant supplement to the University of Washington builds upon LSDF-funded initiatives that have improved surgical care, saved the state over $67 million dollars in health-care costs, and saved hundreds of lives. LSDF will provide up to $285,204 to principal investigator David Flum to expand these activities to engage patients before they enter the hospital and to develop a business model.
The grant supplement of up to $23,000 to Viket Medical Corporation will support software enhancements to a device that rapidly visualizes and removes blood clots from the brain in stroke patients.
“LSDF’s prior investments in Dr. Flum’s health-care initiatives and Viket’s catheter have been very successful in terms of technology and process validation, follow-on funding, and cost savings,” noted board chair Lura Powell. “However, additional work is still required for sustainability and broad translation, and we are pleased to provide supplemental funding to support such efforts.”
LSDF will release the Request for Proposals for its 2013-2014 granting programs in early August 2013, and the first pre-proposal deadline is anticipated to be in September 2013. For more details, please visit the LSDF website
Funding for the new awards comes from Washington’s allocation of payments under the Master Tobacco Settlement Agreement of 1998, revenues arising from multi-state litigation with tobacco product manufacturers.
The Life Sciences Discovery Fund, a Washington state agency established in May 2005, makes grant investments in innovative life sciences research and development to benefit Washington and its citizens.