Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) has formed a joint venture with Allied Minds intended to translate university discoveries into new drugs by supporting early-stage R&D, the partners said today.

University researchers are expected to tap into BMS’ drug discovery research expertise, and Allied Minds’ financial and management know-how through the new jointly funded venture, Allied-Bristol Life Sciences.

Allied-Bristol will identify discoveries deemed to have therapeutic and commercial potential, the partners said, then transform them into drug candidates for clinical development by funding research from initial feasibility to preclinical phases.

Allied Minds and BMS said they will form and fund new companies designed to conduct feasibility and full-phase discovery programs. Once a program identifies a preclinical candidate, BMS will have the option to acquire the company from the joint venture under pre-agreed terms.

“We believe this new venture will enhance the translation of early-stage academic research and will ultimately help advance important potential new medicines more efficiently,” Carl Decicco, svp and head of discovery with BMS, said in a statement.

Added Chris Silva, Allied Minds’ CEO: “Our partnership with Bristol-Myers Squibb combines complementary strengths, resources, reach and expertise to create an exciting new paradigm in the drug development space.”

Founded in 2006, Allied Minds is a diversified holding company that advances discoveries made at U.S. universities and U.S. federal research institutions and laboratories. The company works with 33 universities—including several University of California schools and several Ivy League schools, including Harvard, Yale, and Cornell—and 32 federal research centers and laboratories managed by the U.S. Departments of Defense and Energy.

Allied Minds says it supports its businesses and their product development through capital investments, central management, and shared services. The company completed its initial public offering on July 24, with a portfolio of 18 operating companies.

“Our portfolio includes investments in both life and physical sciences that show potential to go to market within 2–5 years to bring innovation to help solve critical challenges,” Allied Minds states.

According to its website, Allied-Bristol is the 10th company in Allied Minds’ “life sciences” portfolio. Within that portfolio is SciFluor Life Sciences, a drug discovery and development company formed to enrich drug pipelines with innovative new therapeutics based on fluorine technology discovered at Harvard University in the laboratory of Tobias Ritter, Ph.D., professor of chemistry and chemical biology and SciFluor’s scientific director.

Among other Allied Minds portfolio companies:

  • CryoXtract, developer of automated product solutions designed to offer research labs access to frozen biosamples without exposing them to freeze/thaw cycles.
  • Precision Biopsy, whose medical device platform is intended to provide real-time optical pathology of normal tissue and minimize unnecessary tissue coring and pathology costs.
  • ProGDerm, developer of a biologic designed to enhance the appearance of skin using the body’s own processes, namely generating subcutaneous fat naturally.

While not an industry-specific investor, Allied Minds says it focuses on technologies and opportunities that offer clearly definable products/services addressing critical, major unmet needs; demonstrate “significant” technology advantages; enjoy strong technical and IP foundation; come from collaborative and entrepreneurial principal investigators; and originate from a U.S. university or federally funded research institution. 

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