News: Fall 2016

$1M in New Innovation Discovery Grants

Ten projects selected to each receive $100,000 to accelerate patient care

Ten Innovation Discovery Grants (IDG) were awarded to support breakthrough technologies. The grants are aimed at improving patient care by accelerating the commercialization of these emerging technologies and efforts to make care delivery more efficient. The IDG program funds prototyping, pre-clinical studies, software development and other approaches that can directly lead to a new device, drug, diagnostic, software or other product that can enhance patient care based on the innovation. The IDG initiative is open to all 68,000 Partners employees.
“The IDG process is a significant resource for driving commercial development”, notes Keith Kerman, MD, Chair of the IDG industry review committee, a member of Partners Innovation Advisory Board and an Operating Partner with The Riverside Company, a global private equity firm.
The 2016 awards were selected from 219 initial proposal submissions. The ten funded projects range from the development, by Elizabeth Lawson, MD, MGH Medicine, of sustained-release formation of the hormone oxytocin for use as a weight-loss therapy to cultivation, by Lynn Bry, MD, PhD, BWH Pathology, of communities of gut microbes that can alter the immune response to prevent or treat food allergies. “We are thrilled to have the IDG to accelerate commercial applications and enable us to deploy these innovations more quickly and with greater certainty”, said Chris Coburn, Vice President, Innovations, the group that sponsors and manages the IDG.
The funds will be used for:

  • Reproducibility and validation studies
  • Refining lab and animal models
  • Demonstrating and facilitating scalability of product technology
  • Engineering, design and assay improvements
  • Formalizing collaborations and expanding networks

Final award recommendations were made by a committee of two dozen senior venture investors, industry executives and entrepreneurs.
“These are some of the most promising opportunities across the considerable breadth of cutting edge research among our 3500 faculty and our more than $1.5 billion in annual research activity” said Anne Klibanski MD, Partners Chief Academic Officer and the Laurie Carrol Guthart Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. “This funding will grow the application of their work to help patients and to further expand our important collaboration with industry.”

Innovation Discovery Grants | “Top Ten”
Novel Therapeutic Target for Kidney Fibrosis
Vishal Vaidya, PhD, BWH Medicine
Anti-LAP Antibody, New Checkpoint Inhibitor
Howard Weiner, MD BWH Neurology
Therapeutic Microbiota in Food Allergy
Lynn Bry, MD, PhD BWH Pathology
Optical Monitoring for Peripheral Artery Dysfunction
Blaise Frederick, PhD McLean Psychiatry
Long-Acting Oxytocin Formulation for Treatment of Obesity
Elizabeth Lawson, MD MGH Medicine
Long-Acting Hypoparathyroidism Treatment
Michael Mannstadt, MD MGH Medicine
Gene Therapy Platform for the Treatment of Inherited Deafness
Casey Maguire, PhD MGH Neurology
Wireless Heart Rate Sensor for Newborn Resuscitation
Kristian Olson, MD MGH Medicine
Scar-Free Fractional Microbiopsy
Jay Austen, MD MGH Plastic Surgery
Granulocyte Progenitor Transfusions to Treat Neutropenia
Michael Mansour, MD, PhD, MGH Personalized Medicine