An investment management firm has committed $65 million in funding to UNC to accelerate the development and creation of new medicines.
The University is partnering with Deerfield Management to form Pinnacle Hill, LLC. Pinnacle Hill will manage funding to approved projects and provide drug development expertise across a wide range of therapeutic areas, according to a University press release.
Deerfield Management is an employee-owned hedge fund sponsor that typically invests in the health care sector, particularly pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and generic drugs.
“This is a very exciting new partnership between UNC-Chapel Hill and Deerfield Management. In creating a new company, Pinnacle Hill, we are bringing together the best of academia and industry to accelerate innovative drug research,” said UNC Chancellor Carol Folt in a press release. “By investing in our faculty’s early stage research, this partnership advances our commitment to improving the health and well-being of people around the world.”
A joint steering committee comprised of members of the University and Deerfield will review and approve project proposals.
The UNC members of the committee will be Terry Magnuson, UNC vice chancellor for research; Dhiren Thakker, interim dean of the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy and interim director of the Eshelman Institute for Innovation and Blossom Damania, vice dean for research in the UNC School of Medicine.
Judith Cone, vice chancellor for innovation, entrepreneurship and economic development, said UNC and Deerfield will have equal oversight of the process.
“They work together in making all of the decisions, whether it’s the selection of the project, the development plan for the project, the allocation of funding, all of these decisions are made jointly by both Deerfield and UNC,” Cone said.
Cone said outside partners bring important expertise that allows new medicines and cures to be delivered to patients.