November 14, 2017
Success Stories - Navigating Life Science and Biomedical Technology Commercialization

Please join the experts at Fast Forward Medical Innovation and the U-M Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies for a  panel discussion on skill sets and roles for success in navigating life science programs and biomedical innovation and commercialization.

Moderator: David Olson, Ph.D., Adjunct Faculty, U-M Medical School; Mentor-in-Residence - U-M Tech Transfer Venture Center

Panelists include:
  • Andrew Spencer, Ph.D., Vice President of Preclinical R&D at Millendo Therapeutics
  • Teri Grieb, Ph.D., Chief of Staff for the Research Enterprise at Michigan Medicine and Senior Director for Research at U-M Medical School Office of Research
  • Deb Ladenheim, Ph.D., Mentor-in-Residence at the U-M Office of Technology Transfer and Owner of Ladenheim Regulatory Consulting
  • James Wilson, M.S., Assistant Regional Director at the Midwest Regional U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. 
Success Stories - Navigating Life Science and Biomedical
Technology Commercialization
Wednesday, November 29, 2017

South Lecture Hall
Medical Science Building II

The CME event is open to all U-M faculty, staff, & students

The University of Michigan Medical School is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The University of Michigan Medical School designates this live activity for a maximum or 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit
. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

The speakers, Andrew Spencer, Ph.D., Teri Grieb, Ph.D., Deb Ladenheim, Ph.D., and James Wilson, M.S., have no commercial relationship relevant to this presentation.

Dr. Kevin Ward, the faculty planner, has no commercial relationship relevant to this activity.
Congratulations to the U-M Therapeutic
Fund Awardees
Four projects selected for funding from a highly
competitive field

The Michigan Center for Therapeutic Innovation (MCTI) and FFMI recently announced that they awarded $450,000 in funding for four projects through the U-M Therapeutic Fund, a 5-year, $2.5M fund created to accelerate the discovery and translation of therapeutic candidates at the University of Michigan. An advisory committee of recognized drug discovery and development experts from industry and academia reviewed and selected projects for funding. 

U-M Therapeutic Fund awardees for 2017:
Name Department Project Title
Cagri Besirli Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences Photoreceptor metabolic reprogramming to prevent apoptosis and vision loss in several ocular diseases
Mukesh Nyati and Theodore Lawrence Radiation Oncology Optimization and characterization of a novel agent for tyrosine kinase inhibitor resistant lung cancers
Alan Smrcka Pharmacology Development of a small molecule modulator as a
co-therapy to improve the therapeutic profile of opioid analgesics 
Duxin Sun Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy Drug discovery to modulate epigenetics and boost targeted immunotherapy in triple negative breast and other cancers 

The fund supports the discovery and optimization of small molecule lead compounds for projects with a specific, novel, and testable drug discovery hypothesis. Selected projects receive funding and resources from MCTI in the areas of drug design, cell biology, medicinal chemistry, structural biology, and pharmacology (up to $150,000 in value for each award for up to 18 months). The fund is jointly administered by MCTI and FFMI.

CLICK HERE for more information.
Check Out FFMI's Blog (New Post!)
Stories from the innovation and commercialization trenches
by FFMI Executive Director, Kevin Ward

The latest post in the new Fast Forwarding Medical Innovation Blog, An Important Innovation PSA to Biomedical Researchers and Leaders: Stay Calm, Innovate, and Make It Relevant!, is live. In this post, Kevin Ward, M.D., Executive Director of the University of Michigan Medical School's Fast Forward Medical Innovation (FFMI) program, discusses the need to use innovation, entrepreneurship, and commercialization  as tools and examples to educate the general public on how medical research and decreased funding directly affects them.  In future blog posts, Dr. Ward will dive deeper into definitions of innovation, as well as entrepreneurship as it applies to academic medicine.

The Fast Forwarding Medical Innovation blog is a resource where Dr. Ward will share his experience at Michigan Medicine and the U-M in developing strategic programming with a purpose to make innovation and entrepreneurship a natural and expected academic behavior in hopes that great ideas will move more rapidly to patient impact. This will include his very own innovation journey and how these experiences helped in creating FFMI.
Michigan Medicine Enters Drug Discovery Collaboration With AstraZeneca in Chronic
Kidney Disease  

Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) may benefit from a new collaboration between the University of Michigan and AstraZeneca who have partnered to develop a new therapeutic strategy for treatment. The partners will jointly conduct chemistry and drug discovery research with the aim of developing candidate drugs. CLICK HERE to read the full article.
New Innovation Funding Opportunity 
$500,000 funding program launched by U-M
Surgery Department

The Michigan Surgical Innovation Prize is a first-of-its-kind $500,000 funding program from the U-M Department of Surgery.  It' s designed to encourage creativity, faculty engagement, and collaboration in developing novel technologies with the ability to transition onto viable commercialization paths, ultimately advancing the field of surgery and resulting in positive patient impact. 

As part of the Michigan Surgical Innovation Prize, FFMI will be partnering with the Department of Surgery and Mark Cohen, M.D., Associate Professor of Surgery and Pharmacology, Director of the Medical School Innovation & Entrepreneurship Path of Excellence, as well as the Surgical Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Development Program (SIEDP). Finalists will attend SIEDP, which is a customized educational program that provides practical experience; industry feedback and contacts; innovation, commercialization, and entrepreneurship experience; and tools to build a strong business case for surgical innovation. The class will meet one day/month from January 2018-July 2018. 

Applications are due by midnight on November 27, 2017
CLICK HERE for more information and to apply

We look forward to working with the Surgery Department and being part of this unique new funding resource that will help showcase the strength of innovation and entrepreneurship at 
FFMI Holds Inaugural National Advisory
Board Meeting

On Friday, November 3, FFMI hosted the inaugural FFMI National Advisory Board (NAB) meeting. The NAB is comprised of a group of local, national, and international industry leaders who provide advice and guidance to help shape FFMI's vision for broader community and global impact. 

FFMI welcomed the NAB members to discuss impact, challenges, sustainability, and the future direction of the program. The team was joined by Steve Kunkel, Ph.D., Senior Associate Dean for Research; Teri Grieb, Ph.D.,  Chief of Staff and Senior Director for Research; and two FFMI faculty champions, Dan Orringer, M.D., (Neurosurgery); and Joyce Lee, M.D., M.P.H., (Department of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases). 

FFMI NAB Board Members include:
  • Fred Molnar, M.B.A.
    VP Entrepreneurship and Innovation at MEDC
  • Mary Petrovich, M.B.A.
    Chairman of the Board, Axletech
    Senior Operating Executive, Carlyle Group
  • Paul Riser, M.B.A.
    Managing Director of Tech Entrepreneurship, TechTown
  • Tom Shehab, M.D.
    Managing Director, Arboretum Ventures
  • Jamie Topper, M.D., Ph.D.
    Managing General Partner, Frazier Health Partners
  • George Yeh, M.B.A.
    President, TLC Bio
The FFMI team is looking forward to working with this talented group of key opinion leader partners and learning from their collective expertise. 
FFMI fastPACE Course in Full Swing
One-of-a-kind program aims to help researchers develop ideas

FFMI recently kicked off the 7th cohort of the FFMI fastPACE course with 12 teams. 
The 4-week course is designed to equip biomedical faculty and researchers at U-M with the knowledge and tools to navigate the initial process of commercialization. T eams work with experienced mentors to develop a successful business case and expand their network of innovation partners, mentors, and potential investors. The teaching teams, a group of subject matter experts leading the course, are a collaboration between FFMI and the U-M Office of Technology Transfer. 

At this year's kickoff, FFMI welcomed Sandra Cochrane of Western Michigan and a team from MidMichigan Medical Center led by Pankaj Jandwani to observe the FFMI fastPACE program.

In March 2018, FFMI will launch the 8th cohort of FFMI fastPACE. In parallel to this course, FFMI will host a Train-the-Trainer session designed for the CTSA network. 

For more information, contact Jon Servoss or visit our website.
Celebrate Invention 2017
U-M applauds innovative projects at annual Tech
Transfer event

On Wednesday, October 18, the U-M Office of Technology Transfer (OTT) hosted its annual "Celebrate Invention" reception in the Michigan League Ballroom. U-M Medical School had 175 new inventions in FY17. 

This year, FFMI was proud to partner with OTT by piloting a new featured area, along with our collaborators, highlighting the broader U-M innovation ecosystem, particularly commercialization education and translational and commercialization funding programs. 

Attendees gathered in the Michigan League Ballroom to learn more about our latest innovative products, including these from the U-M Medical school.
  • Arascope, an app that tracks a person's internal time by tracking their light exposure, then uses that information to recommend how the person should expose themselves to light to improve health and performance. Team: Olivia Walch, Ph.D., Daniel Forger, Ph.D., Kirill Serkh, and Samuel Christensen
  • Clot Buster Thrombectomy, a standalone device with suction catheter and an in-catheter clot fragmenting mechanism which, in combination, can rapidly and safely remove large and stiff clots in tortuous vessels to restore blood flow. Team: Luis Savastano, M.D., Aditya S. Pandey, M.D., Albert Shih, Ph.D., Yihao Zheng, Ph.D., Jeff Plott, M.S., Yang Liu, Ph.D., Joshua Cockrum, and Miranda Ajulufoh
  • MATURA96, is an FDA validated high-throughput screen for pre-clinical human cardiac pro-arrhythmia and cardiotoxicity detection. It is the only FDA validated platform to detect drug induced Torsades de Pointes (TdP) arrhythmia mechanisms in vitro. Team: Todd Herron, Ph.D. and José Jalife, M.D.
In Other News

FFMI and MTRAC were spotlighted in two prestigious publications this month. Check
out the articles here: BioMatters Fall 2017 and the
InfoReady October 2017 Newsletter

Nominations are open for the 2018 Agilent Early Career Professor Award. The topic of this year's award is "Contributions to the development and advancement of techniques and approaches for the study of the human microbiome, microbiome-host interactions, and interaction between individual microbiome components."  CLICK HERE  for more information.

MCubed, U-M's innovative five-year, $30 million investment in research and scholarship by its faculty members, has tripled into a return of nearly $100 million in follow-on funding. President Mark Schlissel announced that the program will be continued for
a third three-year cycle. 

The U-M Coulter Translational Research Partnership Program Announced 2018 Call for Proposals. The Coulter Program funds collaborative translational research
projects between Engineering and Clinical faculty co-investigators. For more information,
visit the website or download Coulter proposal instructions and application forms here.
For questions, please contact Thomas Marten, Coulter Program Director, at tmarten@umich.edu or 734-647-1680.
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Fast Forward Medical Innovation is part of the Office of Research, where our mission is to foster an environment of innovation and efficiency that serves the U-M Medical School community and supports biomedical science from insight to impact.