Yale, UConn collaboration sets solid commercial foundation


After being provided with a $10 million grant from Connecticut’s Bioscience Innovation Fund, UConn and Yale will work together with the goal of spawning a greater number of biotechnology companies in the state of Connecticut. This initiative will be named Program in Innovative Therapeutics for Connecticut’s Health (“PITCH” for short) and will be started by the Yale Center for Molecular Discovery. 

Dennis Wright of UConn and Craig Crews of Yale will head this project with the ambition of taking the groundbreaking research already underway at both institutions and translating it into private investments for commercial endeavors.

This has the potential to be the start of a promising collaboration between Connecticut’s premiere universities and will ultimately benefit the state through increased employment opportunities and revenue from these new commercial ventures. BioInnovation Connecticut, part of the overarching Connecticut Innovations, plans to increase the rate of commercialization that stem from biological science discoveries through the Connecticut Bioscience Innovation Fund and the Regenerative Medicine Research Fund.

As both UConn and Yale are prominent research institutions, with a number of projects and scientific investigations underway, PITCH will bring such discoveries to the market more quickly and allow laboratory research to fall under clinical relevance at a faster rate. This has the potential to directly benefit those in the state of Connecticut and beyond through cutting edge biological and medical breakthroughs that may take the form of medications, therapies and technologies.

Such breakthroughs will in turn benefit both UConn and Yale through substantial returns on investment generated by the revenues of these enterprises. 

Traditionally, Yale’s efforts to translate research into successful commercial enterprises have been more fruitful than those of UConn. However, PITCH affords the opportunity for UConn to improve in this regard, which can bring greater attention to its research and increase the university’s prestige in the STEM field.

Furthermore, this collaboration will afford more resources to both universities, allowing mutual access to technology as well as research developments to further the common goal of advancing clinical and therapeutic research. 

According to vice president and fund manager of BioInnovation Connecticut, Margaret Cartiera, PhD, they “are really trying to get more therapeutic, clinically relevant therapies out there at a faster pace.”

Beyond the economic considerations of this partnership, there is genuine good that can come of it in the form of life saving drugs and therapies or even commercial developments that may just improve the quality of life for some.

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