Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Deerfield Management Launch Riverway Discoveries

Feb. 8, 2021 13:00 UTC

Deerfield commits up to $130 million over 10 years to fund translational research at Dana-Farber

BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Deerfield Management Company, a healthcare investment management firm focused on advancing healthcare through investment, information and philanthropy, have formed a major translational research partnership to accelerate the development of therapeutics and diagnostics for cancer. Deerfield has committed up to $130 million over the next 10 years to advance research at Dana-Farber and translate scientific discoveries with potential applications for patients.

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Riverway Discoveries represents the first time Deerfield has created a second such partnership with one of its academic collaborators. In the first agreement, announced in 2018, Deerfield committed $80 million to create the Center for Protein Degradation at Dana-Farber.

“Translational funding in biomedical research, when the promise of success is not obvious or guaranteed, can often be the engine that ensures innovative research moves forward, paving the way for important discoveries and new and better therapies,” said Laurie H. Glimcher, MD, president and CEO, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. “I am hopeful that this investment by Deerfield at Dana-Farber now will eventually help improve the lives of people with cancer everywhere.”

“Supporting the innovation engines at institutions with world class science, investigators and leadership through financial, operational and translational expertise focused on projects with the potential to change lives can ultimately lead to the financial success of the institutions. This may be the most powerful way we can help support the healthcare ecosystem,” stated James Flynn, Deerfield managing partner. “Dana Farber is the perfect example of an institution with all the fundamentals where a flywheel of innovation can be supported with translational funding. We are pleased to be an innovation partner with now two separate collaborations focused on the most exciting and life saving translational projects.”

Getting new therapeutics to patients is a driver in Dana-Farber’s research and drug discovery work. Building on Dana-Farber’s history and strong foundation of scientific leadership, innovation and drug development, this partnership with Deerfield and Riverway Discoveries will support the preclinical development, spurring commercialization to help advance the most promising research expeditiously. Advancing the drug pipeline forward more swiftly, enables new treatments to be developed more quickly, delivering on the ultimate goal of improving patient care and saving lives.

“We are thrilled to collaborate again with Deerfield, as our previous partnership in protein degradation is enabling us to advance an exciting portfolio of discoveries. This new partnership will give scientists across Dana-Farber a new pathway to incubate cutting-edge science that will advance cancer care,” said Lesley Solomon, Senior Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer at Dana-Farber. “Many promising innovations outgrow the laboratory as they require greater resources than an academic setting can typically provide. Dana-Farber’s partnership with Deerfield will catalyze important innovation growth.”

Starting later this month, Dana-Farber researchers may submit proposals on projects for consideration by a Riverway Discoveries joint steering committee whose membership comprises equal scientific leadership representing Dana-Farber and Deerfield. Through Riverway Discoveries, Deerfield will provide funding and operational support for accepted projects.

About Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is one of the world’s leading centers of cancer research and treatment. Dana-Farber’s mission is to reduce the burden of cancer through scientific inquiry, clinical care, education, community engagement, and advocacy. We provide the latest treatments in cancer for adults through Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center and for children through Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. Dana-Farber is the only hospital nationwide with a top 10 U.S. News & World Report Best Cancer Hospital ranking in both adult and pediatric care.

As a global leader in oncology, Dana-Farber is dedicated to a unique and equal balance between cancer research and care, translating the results of discovery into new treatments for patients locally and around the world, offering more than 1,100 clinical trials.

About Deerfield

Deerfield is an investment management firm committed to advancing healthcare through investment, information and philanthropy. For more information, please visit www.deerfield.com.

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Ellen Berlin, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, ellen_berlin@dfci.harvard.edu, 617-750-8884
Karen Heidelberger, Deerfield, karenh@deerfield.com, 212-583-7298

Source: Deerfield Management Company

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