Duke University and the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation have created a $20 million endowment to foster a research collaboration between bioengineers and clinicians with the goal of developing new technologies to improve patient care.
Ten million dollars from the Coulter Foundation will fund the partnership along with additional investments from Duke and the Fitzpatrick Foundation, bringing the total to $20 million.
Elias Caro, vice president of technology development at the foundation, said, "As a member of the Coulter program, Duke adopted the Coulter Process, an industry-like development process, that includes a thorough commercialization analysis which assesses intellectual property, FDA requirements, reimbursement, critical milestones and clinical adoption. This attracted follow-on funding from venture capital and biomedical companies."
In 2005, the Coulter Foundation picked Duke to move university biomedical engineering projects into commercial products and clinical practices. Since then, 19 Duke projects have been funded. Projects surround clinical research areas such as detecting prostate cancer and esophageal pre-cancerous lesions, treating hemophilia and controlling urinary function for paraplegics.
Three startup companies, many licensing agreements, more than $35 million in venture capital and investments, and another $47 million in federal, state or foundation grants have resulted from this partnership. This new endowment will allow for the continued support of promising projects at Duke, said biomedical engineering department chair George Truskey.