Investing in Our Technologies
The Catalyst Fund
How Does the Catalyst Fund Work
In 2015, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center created the Catalyst Fund, a $15 million technology development program to accelerate the development of innovative life science technologies at Wake Forest Baptist. These technologies include medical devices, drugs, vaccines, restorative medicines, diagnostics and digital health. The program aims to invest in as many as 25 – 30 novel, high-potential technologies over 3 – 5 years.
Managed by Pappas Capital, a leading life science investment firm in Durham, NC, the Catalyst Fund makes investments in the form of project funding for Wake Forest Baptist technologies being developed at Wake Forest Innovations that have the potential to make a significant impact on clinical practice and to attract licensing interest. Technologies are presented to a steering committee comprised of external scientists and industry experts. The steering committee then makes recommendations to Pappas Capital about which technologies merit investment, with a corresponding development plan. Catalyst-supported technologies remain the intellectual property of Wake Forest Baptist.
Awards from the Catalyst Fund are provided according to the needs of the project. The goal is to support activities that can increase the value of a technology and the likelihood of it being licensed by an established company or a start-up that will complete its product development, secure its regulatory approval, manufacture it and introduce it to clinical practice and the marketplace. Such activities include:
- Advanced prototyping
- Chemical synthesis
- Pharmacokinetic studies
- Preclinical or clinical proof-of-concept studies
- Safety testing
- Market research
By making significant investments in our proprietary technologies through the Catalyst Fund, Wake Forest Innovations and Pappas Capital are working together to translate high-impact technologies into valuable products that can improve health—the mission of the Medical Center and a win for patients and industry partners.
If you are a member of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, learn more about how the Catalyst Fund can be used to develop your technologies.
Other Funding Sources
- Commercialization Pathway Awards: internal funding awards, generally in amounts ranging from $5,000 to $20,000, intended to advance projects through initial proof of concept stages
- NC Biotech grants
- State government grants
- Federal government grants, such as Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs