University Of Pittsburgh Health Science Schools Form New Office Of Enterprise Development
PITTSBURGH, March 26, 2004 The University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences has formed a new organization to promote and manage entrepreneurial and business development opportunities that come from scientific research taking place across the full spectrum of the university's six schools of the health sciences.
Carolyn E. Green, former director of the Limbach Entrepreneurial Center (LEC) at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, is leading the new Office of Enterprise Development, which is part of the university's Office of the Senior Vice Chancellor, Health Sciences. Existing LEC operations will become an operating unit within the new organization with expanded services for faculty in the University of Pittsburgh's schools of Medicine, Dental Medicine, Nursing, Health and Rehabilitation Sciences and Pharmacy and the Graduate School of Public Health. A Center for Business Development focusing on industry interactions also will be a part of the new office.
University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Mark Nordenberg hailed the initiative as another example of the university's broad-ranging efforts to improve Pittsburgh-area quality of life.
"This new office is another manifestation of the university's commitment to increasing our substantial economic impact on the region through the commercialization of our medical technologies. We are convinced that, over time, developments such as these will have great value as life sciences business generators," said Chancellor Nordenberg.
"The University of Pittsburgh's ranking among the top-most tier of institutions with respect to National Institutes of Health funding speaks to the quality as well as the quantity of research here," said Arthur S. Levine, M.D., senior vice chancellor, health sciences, and dean of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. "Mining these scientific discoveries for the unique business opportunities they represent is a natural progression for us that benefits not only the university, but the region as a whole."
As a founding director of the LEC with extensive business and management experience, Ms. Green has demonstrated her ability to foster partnerships between university faculty and the life sciences industry to promote appropriate commercialization of research, Dr. Levine noted.
"Research discoveries in the health sciences have the potential to move beyond the scientific community to ultimately improve human health," he said. "However, given that the average cost to bring a new drug to market is $800 million, it is imperative for academic medical centers such as the University of Pittsburgh to partner with industry for drug discovery."
A native of Pittsburgh and a 1987 Pitt graduate, Ms. Green said she relishes expanding her strategic focus on commercialization.
"We have an unprecedented opportunity to increase our impact locally and throughout the global life sciences community," she said. "This new office will expand faculty-centered commercialization activities now available through the LEC and combine them with a proactive, industry-focused business development initiative."
The new effort will continue to develop programs to support an entrepreneurial culture in the scientific community that is poised to take advantage of commercialization opportunities while remaining vigilant with respect to potential conflicts of interest, Ms. Green added.
"Our mission is to reward and retain faculty inventors, build closer ties to industry and promote economic growth in the region," she said.
"UPMC Health Ventures has worked closely with Ms. Green over the past several years in her role as director of the Limbach Entrepreneurial Center in the formation of companies such as ImmunoSite Inc.," said David Hall, director of UPMC Health Ventures, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's investing arm. "We are delighted to extend that interest to areas beyond cancer."