The Wallace H. Coulter Foundation awarded Drexel University $10 million Tuesday to endow the Coulter Translational Research Partnership program, which will work to accelerate the movement of biomedical discoveries from the lab to the patient bedside.
The Philadelphia college matched the Coulter Foundation’s grant, creating a $20 million endowment.
“This program started out as a grand experiment to link the relatively new discipline of biomedical engineering to translational research,” said Sue Van, president of the foundation. “With the capabilities and financial sustainability of this endowment, Drexel is now a leader at the forefront of translational research and can systematically and successfully move innovation out of the university to benefit humanity.”
As part of that initiative, Drexel has adopted the “Coulter process,” an industry-like development process that includes an extensive commercialization analysis which assesses intellectual property, FDA requirements, reimbursement, critical milestones and clinical adoption.
During the first five years of the Coulter-Drexel partnership, 21 projects have received grant funding and been supplemented by additional commercialization funds from the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania, innovation grants from Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development and the University City Science Center’s QED proof-of-concept program.
The projects have produced more than 40 full patent applications, three issued patents and one copyright registration. About one-third of the projects have produced licenses, according to Robert McGrath, associate vice provost and executive director of Drexel’s Office of Entrepreneurship and Technology Commercialization. Drexel officials said the “Coulter imprint” provided leverage to raise an additional $18 million in commercial and government follow-on funding leading to seven licenses with three technologies licensed to international commercial partners.
“Qualifying to receive the Coulter Foundation’s endowment is a seminal achievement for Drexel,” said Drexel PresidentJohn A. Fry. “This distinguishes Drexel as a top leader among national research universities in collaborative translational research and charges us with the responsibility to mentor our peers regionally, nationally and internationally.”