The Hamner acts as a catalyst linking translational research and business development.
Emerging Biopharmaceutical Companies
The Accelerator for Translational Biosciences is a program that transcends merely providing organizations with a "real estate solution." Instead, it creates a partnership with emerging companies and academic institutions, which leads to shared resources, research collaborations, and increased funding opportunities. All of this occurs at lightning "biotech speed" so that partners can capitalize on an easily accessible facility and state-of-the-art equipment as well as world-class scientific support and business development expertise.
BioMedomics, the first company to join The Hamner's Accelerator, develops advanced medical diagnostics tools based on multiplexed genomics and proteomics detection technologies for use in the fast-growing field of personalized medicine. BioMedomics already has developed several unique biomarker reagent products and has begun to market a biosensor system for advanced cell assay applications.
b3bio, an RNA therapeutics company, joined the Accelerator in early 2008. The goal of the company, utilizing technology licensed from Duke University and the University of Texas, is to develop an entirely new class of medicines using small RNA molecules to target individual cells and tissues with remarkable precision. If successful, this technology could be used to treat cancer, metabolic diseases, inflammation, and infection, and will dramatically improve upon current treatments by reducing unwanted side effects.
To facilitate the commercialization of new technologies and provide support for partner companies like BioMedomics and b3bio, The Hamner works with the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, the Council for Entrepreneurial Development, and university technology transfer offices and business schools.
Business Development at The Hamner
The Hamner business development team works closely with scientists on campus to develop partnership agreements that will have a profound impact on translational research and safety sciences. A Memorandum of Understanding, signed in April 2008 with The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill schools of medicine, pharmacy, public health, and business, was a pivotal juncture in The Hamner's history. This unique agreement became the impetus behind creating The Hamner-UNC Center for Drug Safety Sciences as well as additional innovative partnerships. Agreements are also being developed with other academic centers in North Carolina and the Southeast U.S. as well as organizations in North America (e.g. Risk Sciences, Inc., Entelos, Inc.), Europe, and Asia (e.g., China Medical City and Shanghai CDC). These agreements are focused on creating innovative solutions in translational research, safety sciences, education, and business development.
The Accelerator model is being expanded to include international biopharmaceutical companies. Currently, a memorandum of understanding is being negotiated with an emerging company in China as part of a new program to use The Hamner campus as a "gateway" to enter the U.S. biomedical market.