The BSi is committed to developing new partnerships with industry and bio-technology with the goal of fostering translation of discoveries to treatments of disease. Working together with the NeuroTranslational Drug Discovery Program, the BSi has hosted industry representatives from around the world to share the scope of basic and clinical neuroscience in anticipation of developing long-term re-search relationships geared to specific disease targets. Through these industry showcases BSi has met with Wyeth, Eli Lilly, Johnson & Johnson, GSK, and Lundbeck among others.
Biogen-Idec has signed a “model” agreement that includes research support for proposals chosen on a competitive basis by a joint Biogen Idec-BSi steering committee. The agreement is unique because it streamlines intellectual property and reduces regulatory barriers. The first two awards were announced in 2007. A third project award was announced in 2009. Target research areas include Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease and pain.
To facilitate further development and partnership the BSi has developed several other initiatives. The first in co-sponsorship with the Johns Hopkins Office of Technology is called the Technology Commercialization Seminar Series. These ongoing talks address critical issues on technology transfer and commercialization. Another hugely successful program is Entrepreneurial Speed-Dating where scientific investigators with start-up company ideas meet business entrepreneurs. The purpose of this event is to connect Hopkins inventor scientists with business entrepreneurs experienced in starting companies. The goal is to accelerate the formation of new life science companies. Researchers get a chance to meet with multiple entrepreneurs in one setting to see if there is “chemistry,” a first step in creation of a new venture. There is also an opportunity to network with entrepreneurs and venture capitalists.
Other efforts to bring industry partners together for collaboration and discussion include a large, successful JH Biotechnology Conference “Neuroscience Investors Conference: Investing in Brain Research.” The BSi team has also developed the BSi Venture Captial initiative with Atlas Ventures, Quaker Bio-ventures, Polaris Venture Partners, and Red Abbey Venture Partners. And finally, together with JHU, a very productive Entrepreneurs Boot Camp with Wilson Sonsini Goodrich Rosati was held.