Washington University in St. Louis and Deerfield Management, a health-care investment firm, today announced the launch of VeritaScience, a new private R&D collaboration designed to advance the discovery, clinical development and commercialization of promising therapeutic and diagnostic candidates with potential to benefit human health.
To support projects that originate from the collaboration, Deerfield has committed up to $130 million over the next 10 years, along with functional expertise, through a newly formed company. Washington University investigators will have the opportunity to work with Deerfield’s internal team, which has expertise across the drug development continuum from discovery through commercialization. VeritaScience is named to honor Washington University’s motto “Per Veritatem Vis,” which means “Strength Through Truth” in Latin.
The VeritaScience collaboration complements the university’s existing efforts in drug development and its innovative culture. Project proposals can be designed around any disease indication. Washington University investigators will submit project proposals to VeritaScience and its scientific review team, which is led by Deerfield experts and guided by the university’s Office of Technology Management and Washington University School of Medicine’s business development team. Accepted drug discovery projects will receive a development plan aimed at achieving Investigational New Drug readiness and may be eligible for additional funding and support for the creation of separate startup companies.
Washington University is known worldwide for its innovative research programs in the medical sciences aimed at improving human health. The university currently is ranked #7 in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding among U.S. universities, with $633 million received in the 2023 federal fiscal year. This includes nearly $584 million in funding for research initiatives at WashU Medicine, which currently is ranked #2 in NIH funding among U.S. medical schools.
“The exciting collaboration with Deerfield Management to create VeritaScience represents yet another major approach to leveraging the research capabilities of Washington University,” said David H. Perlmutter, MD, the George and Carol Bauer Endowed Dean of Washington University School of Medicine, executive vice chancellor for medical affairs, and the Spencer T. and Ann W. Olin Distinguished Professor. “Deerfield has extensive experience in academic-industry partnerships, and this agreement allows us to further advance the ‘virtuous cycle of academic medicine’ and our commitment to translating ever more of the landscape-altering discoveries happening in our labs into tools and therapies that will concretely improve human health and alleviate suffering.”
The VeritaScience collaboration is an example of Deerfield’s engagement with research institutions. Currently, Deerfield’s network includes nearly 30 leading research institutions and medical centers, which aims to bring the health-care ecosystem together to collaborate and learn from each other. Together with its research partners, Deerfield has provided funding and expertise to create spin-off companies that support key avenues from concept to spin-out of novel therapeutic discoveries.
“Throughout the process of forming VeritaScience, what has stood out to our team at Deerfield is the forward-thinking and innovation-focused Washington University culture,” said James Flynn, managing partner of Deerfield. “We intend to equip the researchers of selected projects with flexible capital, expertise and operational support to help them realize their discoveries’ potential.”
ABOUT WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY
Washington University in St. Louis is counted among the world’s leaders in teaching, research, patient care and service to society. The university draws students and faculty to St. Louis from all 50 states and more than 100 countries. The total student body is over 17,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. Washington University has been affiliated with 26 Nobel laureates, many of whom did a significant portion of their award-winning work at the university. The university offers more than 90 programs and almost 1,500 courses leading to bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in a broad spectrum of traditional and interdisciplinary fields, with additional opportunities for minor concentrations and individualized programs.
WashU Medicine is a global leader in academic medicine, including biomedical research, patient care and educational programs with 2,800 faculty. Its National Institutes of Health (NIH) research funding portfolio is the second largest among U.S. medical schools, has grown 56% in the last seven years and, together with institutional investment, WashU Medicine commits well over $1 billion annually to basic and clinical research innovation and training. Its faculty practice is consistently within the top five in the country, with more than 1,800 faculty physicians practicing at over 65 locations and who are also the medical staffs of Barnes-Jewish and St. Louis Children’s hospitals of BJC HealthCare.
ABOUT DEERFIELD MANAGEMENT
Deerfield is an investment management firm committed to advancing healthcare through investment, information and philanthropy. The Firm works across the healthcare ecosystem to connect people, capital, ideas and technology in bold, collaborative and inclusive ways. For more information, please visit www.deerfield.com.