The global accelerator will transform academic discoveries to drug development opportunities
TUCSON, Ariz., June 9, 2022 — Critical Path Institute (C-Path) today announced it has been awarded a grant from the Frederick Gardner Cottrell Foundation, a non-profit organization established by Research Corporation Technologies, Inc. (RCT) that provides financial support for scientific research and educational programs, to create the C-Path Translational Therapeutics Accelerator (TRxA). The accelerator is a unique, global effort focused on supporting academic scientists in defining optimal strategies for advancing new, cutting-edge therapeutics from the lab to patients.
Advancing an idea from academic drug discovery research to human clinical trials is time and resource intensive, and, too frequently, unsuccessful. This transition from preclinical to clinical studies is therefore often referred to as the drug development ‘valley of death.’ Many aspects contribute to this valley of death, but key opportunities exist for TRxA to have a positive impact to bridge this gap.
One such opportunity is to leverage C-Path’s proficiencies in translational and regulatory science. In keeping with C-Path’s role as a unique, neutral convener between academia, industry, regulatory agencies and patients, TRxA will provide university-based researchers with advice to define optimal regulatory strategies to advance promising new drug candidates. Additionally, TRxA will have funding available to complete critical studies needed to validate the solidity of the drug product for further development.
By harnessing C-Path’s expertise in accelerating the medical product development process, grant awardees will receive guidance and mentoring to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of advancing potential therapies from early discovery to clinical trials — starting with a clear end in mind.
Leading TRxA is newly hired Executive Director Maaike Everts, Ph.D., a pharmaceutical scientist with broad experience in drug delivery, discovery and development. Everts previously led a drug discovery program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and also has expertise in a CDMO environment for drug formulation and manufacturing. She will apply her firsthand experience to provide pivotal leadership, as TRxA begins accepting applications and issuing awards.
“I am honored and excited to have the opportunity to shepherd TRxA through its growth into a world-class drug accelerator program,” said Everts. “Helping academic researchers move their innovative ideas for new drugs from concept to reality is a personal passion, and a multidisciplinary team approach is critical to bringing new therapies to patients as quickly as possible.”
“C-Path is exceptionally well-suited to offer a novel translational accelerator program that will support a comprehensive strategic approach for academic groups facing the valley of death,” explained Klaus Romero, M.D., M.S., F.C.P., C-Path’s Chief Science Officer and Executive Director of Clinical Pharmacology. “In this accelerator model, C-Path will leverage our core competencies to provide strategic and tactical regulatory science guidance, engage relevant stakeholders when needed and bring diverse expertise to pivotal early-stage study design and implementation.”
“Our Cottrell Foundation has been a supporter of C-Path from its inception, and we have watched it develop into a world-class organization that catalyzes the development process of new medicines working with the FDA, EMA, industry, academia and patients. TRxA represents a unique opportunity to harness the strengths of C-Path to optimize the advancement of new therapies originating at universities and research institutions worldwide, and we’re proud to partner with C-Path on this innovative venture,” said Shaun Kirkpatrick, President, Biotechnologies, at RCT. “TRxA will provide resources and expertise to support academic scientists in developing a robust research plan and validating comprehensive data packages for potential drug candidates, a key to garnering interest from biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies who would further work with the academic scientist to bring promising drug candidates to the health care setting.”
Critical Path Institute (C-Path) is an independent, nonprofit organization established in 2005 as a public and private partnership. C-Path’s mission is to catalyze the development of new approaches that advance medical innovation and regulatory science, accelerating the path to a healthier world. An international leader in forming collaborations, C-Path has established numerous global consortia that currently include more than 1,600 scientists from government and regulatory agencies, academia, patient organizations, disease foundations, and hundreds of pharmaceutical and biotech companies. C-Path U.S. is headquartered in Tucson, Arizona, C-Path in Europe is headquartered in Amsterdam, Netherlands and C-Path Ltd. operates from Dublin, Ireland with additional staff in multiple other locations. For more information, visit c-path.org.
About the Frederick Gardner Cottrell Foundation
Research Corporation Technologies, Inc. (RCT) established the Frederick Gardner Cottrell Foundation in 1998 to provide financial support for scientific research and educational programs at qualified nonprofit organizations. RCT named the foundation in honor of the university professor and inventor who championed the transfer of academic innovation to public use. The Cottrell Foundation receives its support from donations made by RCT and is a private, non-operating entity.