Wake Forest Innovations Announces Commercialization Pathway Awards for 2013

11 Commercialization Awards Funded at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center

Winston-Salem, N.C. – May 10, 2013 – Wake Forest Innovations, the commercialization arm of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, today announced the funding of 11 scientific projects with product potential through its Commercialization Pathway award program. This internal commercialization awards program supports milestone-driven translational research for commercialization of therapeutics, vaccines, medical devices, diagnostics and procedures developed by researchers at Wake Forest Baptist and Wake Forest University.

The 11 projects include developing new treatments for lung, breast and other cancers; methods for enhancing the effectiveness of orthopaedic, heart and eye surgeries; new approaches to improving the quality of life for patients suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; creating a vaccine against obesity; and supporting a sustainable, non-animal-based source for omega-3 fatty acids.

“Through the Commercialization Pathway program, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center is investing in supporting our researchers to translate their ideas and basic discoveries into innovative products and services,” said Eric Tomlinson, D.Sc., Ph.D., chief innovation officer, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, and president, Wake Forest Innovation Quarter. “Each of these projects has the potential to bring significant benefit to the health and wellness of people and, through their commercialization with prospective partners, to enhance the financial strength of the medical center to enable it to further support our researchers.”

The Commercialization Pathway program has two award categories. The Value Inflection Fund focuses on projects for which the achievement of defined milestones can lead directly to product and technology licensing, formation of a startup company, or comparable steps toward translation and commercialization. Awards generally range between $50,000 and $200,000. The Spark Awards focus on ideas with the potential to achieve early proof-of-concept, formulation or prototyping and typically range between $10,000 and $50,000.

In this current round of awards, Wake Forest Innovations made three Value Inflection Fund awards totaling $515,000 and eight Spark Awards projects totaling almost $320,000. Awards will be given to recipients at the Faculty Research Awards Day, May 15, 2013, at Wake Forest School of Medicine.