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LifeArc and Cleveland Clinic collaborate to advance early stage research towards patients

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LifeArc to fund two post-doctoral fellowships focused on drug discovery

In November 2020, LifeArc initiated a new strategic collaboration with Cleveland Clinic that aims to accelerate the translation of promising scientific discoveries into new tests and treatments for patients.

The relationship begins with LifeArc sponsoring two new post-doctoral fellowships at Cleveland Clinic’s centre for Therapeutics Discovery located on the main campus within the Lerner Research Institute in Cleveland, Ohio. LifeArc will provide funding for the researchers’ salaries and laboratory supplies over two years.

The fellows will carry out investigative research on early-stage innovative projects in therapeutic areas that closely align with the strategic priorities of both organisations. These include infectious disease; cancer, with a focus on early detection and precision medicine; and neurological disorders, including epilepsy and neuropathic pain. Other key shared areas of interest include diagnostics and biomarker development, to create new tests that enable doctors to tailor treatments to patients.

The Fellows program will be led by Dr. Andy Merritt, director for medicinal chemistry at LifeArc, and Dr. Shaun Stauffer, director of Cleveland Clinic’s Centre for Therapeutics Discovery.

“We are delighted to kick-off this new long-term collaboration with Cleveland Clinic with our shared goal of advancing the translation of early-stage innovative discoveries into new life-changing medicines and diagnostics,” said Dr. Merritt.

“Our new funding will help accelerate the fruition of exciting innovative ideas that are currently stuck at the lab bench but have huge potential to make a difference to patients.

“We hope this will help projects to reach a key tipping point, creating new opportunities to collaborate on future research programs where we can contribute our expertise in medicinal chemistry, antibody engineering or diagnostics within LifeArc laboratories.”

This new funding aims to foster early-stage research that has high potential to benefit patients but requires further validation before it can be taken into larger research programs. LifeArc will be given the first option to initiate new collaborations with the Cleveland Clinic to advance the most promising discoveries and move them closer towards the clinic.

Cleveland Clinic’s Centre for Therapeutics Discovery, established in 2018, promotes the translation of basic science discoveries by Cleveland Clinic researchers into new therapeutics. Under Dr. Stauffer’s leadership, the centre’s team has established a pipeline of innovative drug discovery research programs directed toward improving patient care with a true bench-to-bedside vision.

“We are extremely excited to work with LifeArc,” said Dr. Stauffer. “Their vision for how we discover innovative therapies in the future recognizes that this vision starts with discovery teams truly putting patients first with an emphasis on diagnostics and detection.

“It is our shared goal that by establishing this long-term relationship we will empower translational teams, investigators and clinicians to ask the most compelling questions between basic science and human investigation.”

Media contacts

Surinder Maan
Communications Manager, LifeArc

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