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Empire Discovery Institute will bring together UR and two Buffalo institutions

May 25, 2018

Credit rochester.edu

The University of Rochester will be partnering with two Buffalo institutions in an effort to speed up the development of new pharmaceutical drugs.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the formation of the Empire Discovery Institute, which will involve a partnership of the University of Rochester, the University at Buffalo and Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The idea is to help move promising new drugs through the process more quickly.  Steve Dewhurst is Vice Dean for Research at UR’s School of Medicine and Dentistry.

He says the new partnership should help the three institutions expand the scope of research that they are involved with.

“We’ll be able to develop areas that currently are really not necessarily strengths for our individual institutions, but maybe collectively will be greater than the sum of the parts  and then will bring in some other things from the outside to really enhance what we’re able to do together.”

Dewhurst says this new partnership could also benefit the Rochester area economy.

“Certainly it would be research investment, I think there will be at least some spin-off companies that come out of this. One would hope that some of those companies may also be licensing themselves out, or licensing their technologies out to larger pharma companies, so that we would have development of technologies here, in the local region.”

The new institute will receive just over $35 million in state funding over five years in addition to $12 million from in-kind contributions from the University of Rochester and the two Buffalo entities.