Education

UNC partners with investment firm to start a company aimed at speeding drug research

A new company, called Pinnacle Hill, will develop new medicines with research from UNC-Chapel Hill.
A new company, called Pinnacle Hill, will develop new medicines with research from UNC-Chapel Hill.

UNC-Chapel Hill is teaming up with an investment firm on a venture to discover and develop new drugs.

On Monday, UNC announced the creation of Pinnacle Hill LLC, a new company formed by a partnership between the university and Deerfield Management, an investment firm focused on health care.

Deerfield has promised $65 million toward the effort with UNC, as well as its own expertise in the development of new medicines, according to a university news release. Any future profits from drugs developed would be shared by the company and the university.

The idea with the new company is to give university researchers help in moving their research to market. Deerfield will help with strategy and project management, while scientists will stay focused on their work in the lab.

Representatives from the university and Deerfield will form a joint steering committee to choose drug research projects for the new company.

“UNC-Chapel Hill is home to some of the world’s most innovative and life-changing research,” Bob Blouin, executive vice chancellor and provost, said in a news release. “The new partnership between UNC-Chapel Hill and Deerfield Management gives us an exciting opportunity to accelerate drug discovery research at the university and advance new therapies that have the potential to improve health in North Carolina and beyond.”

The university already has drug discovery scientists in its Eshelman School of Pharmacy, medical school, Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Eshelman Institute for Innovation. Those researchers may work as part of upcoming projects directed by Pinnacle Hill.

Jane Stancill: 919-829-4559; @janestancill
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