CTSI now administering Pharmaceutical Development Program

The Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) recently began administering the Committee for Pharmaceutical Development (CPD), an initiative that helps faculty researchers bring therapeutics from basic research into clinical practice via funding and strategic guidance.

The Committee - comprised of proven drug-development experts from both the University of Minnesota and industry partners - provides researchers with the broad expertise required to develop and commercialize pharmaceutical products.

While CPD's function and sponsors will remain unchanged, the program is now housed within CTSI's Office of Discovery and Translation (ODAT), which supports researchers in the early stages of translational research by helping them put promising ideas and discoveries on the path to improved health.

Like CPD, CTSI's Office of Discovery and Translation utilizes grant funding mechanisms and a team-based model to advance discoveries and promote a culture of therapeutics development.

"Developing new therapeutics is the ultimate team sport. No single researcher possesses the regulatory, clinical development, intellectual property, and commercial expertise required to successfully bring a drug to market," says Charles Muscoplat, Ph.D., who serves as Chair of CPD, Dean Emeritus of the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, and a professor of medicine, microbiology, and food science and nutrition.

Jodi Fenlon Rebuffoni, who serves as both a Project Manager for CTSI's Office of Discovery and Translation and a Program Manager for CPD adds, "Both CPD and CTSI embrace this team approach, connecting researchers with experts and specialists who can help them make the leap from basic research to real-life application."

CPD was originally launched as a pilot program in FY12 under the joint sponsorship of the Academic Health Center and Office of the Vice President for Research, which oversees Technology Commercialization. Technology Commercialization originally created the program to foster the development of promising therapeutics discovered at the U and to enable researchers to obtain commercially relevant developmental feedback and research funding in order to increase the chances of attracting commercial interest.

"CTSI and the Committee for Pharmaceutical Development share a commitment to improving human health and helping researchers be more successful," says Tucker LeBien, PhD, Associate Director of CTSI's Office of Discovery and Translation, Vice Dean for Research for the Medical School, and Associate Vice President for Research in the Academic Health Center. "By uniting our respective strengths and successes, we can provide faculty researchers with the highest level of support and continue creating a legacy of drug-development and commercialization success at the University of Minnesota."

The CPD Review Committee meets monthly and accepts funding requests on a continual basis. If you are interested in applying for funding, please contact Jodi Fenlon Rebuffoni at 612-626-6945 or [email protected].