The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) has announced the formation of Scripps Advance, a new drug discovery initiative to translate early-stage biomedical research projects, both internal and external to TSRI, into clinical development candidates. Scripps Advance's first collaborator in this new endeavor is the Johnson & Johnson Innovation Center in California.
"Scripps Advance is a truly novel type of relationship designed to combine the diversity and innovation of academic research enterprises with the expertise, infrastructure and capital of the private sector," said Scott Forrest, Ph.D., TSRI's vice president of business development. "We believe this collaboration structure will prove uniquely effective. Advance will look both inside and outside of TSRI for projects to take forward and it will work with pharma companies to select and fund those projects. Johnson & Johnson Innovation is committed to innovative science, which only raises our level of excitement about Advance."
J&J Innovation Center will tap into Scripps Advance's strong ties with academic researchers at TSRI, other academic centers and early stage companies to help identify potential collaborators. Advance will facilitate match-making between J&J Innovation and emerging life science companies, companies-in-planning, researchers conducting translational research and entrepreneurs that are part of Scripps Advance's network.
Scripps Advance already has been active in the biotech space, collaborating with Atlas Venture, an early stage investment firm, to launch a company called Padlock Therapeutics. Padlock discovers novel therapeutics targeting the protein arginine deiminases (PADs), an emerging class of enzymes with roles in autoimmunity and epigenetic control. Padlock's technology was developed in the laboratories of TSRI investigators Paul Thompson, Ph.D., and Kerri Mowen, Ph.D., in collaboration with the Scripps Florida's high-throughput screening facility.