Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center Creates $15 Million Program to Develop Life Science Technologies

October 7, 2015

Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center today announced the creation of a Technology Development Program, a $15 million program to develop the ideas, discoveries and inventions of the faculty and staff of the Medical Center into life science technologies having the potential to benefit patients in the community and worldwide.

The new program is in partnership with leading life science investment firm  

Pappas Capital, in Durham. Funds will be managed by Pappas in collaboration with Wake Forest Innovations to advance clinically important life science technologies for licensing to established companies or startups.

“Wake Forest Baptist has a long legacy of research, discovery and development of technologies that benefit our patients,” said John D. McConnell, M.D., Wake Forest Baptist’s chief executive officer. “The Technology Development Program adds an important element to our commitment to promote new ideas and innovation. We look forward to the collaboration and partnerships this program will bring.”

Wake Forest Innovations expects to work with Pappas Capital to invest in approximately 25 early-stage technologies over the next three to five years to develop technologies for licensing to industry. In partnership with Pappas Capital, the Technology Development Program has the potential to seek matching funds from foundations, non-profits, industry and other life science organizations.

“With our investment experience and the innovation culture at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, the Technology Development Program is a perfect fit,” said Art Pappas, CEO of Pappas Capital, which for nearly two decades has managed venture capital funds through its business unit Pappas Ventures. “We look forward to working with Wake Forest Innovations to advance technologies that make a difference in the lives of patients.”

The Center for Technology Innovation & Commercialization, part of Wake Forest Innovations, works with faculty and staff at Wake Forest Baptist to help move product ideas through the stages of technology evaluation and commercialization. Services provided include pursuing patent protection, conducting market analytics and preclinical and clinical development, all culminating in potentially licensing of the technology to industry, including startups. The Center handles all proprietary technologies of the Medical Center, including therapeutics, vaccines, diagnostics, medical devices and digital health technologies.

“The formation of the Technology Development Program signals a strong commitment and recognition by the institution of the long-term value of our technology pipeline,” said Jeff Brennan, vice president, technology innovation & commercialization at Wake Forest Innovations. “The ideas, discoveries and inventions of Wake Forest School of Medicine faculty and staff are crucial to the development of world-class technologies. This investment serves as an accelerant to help increase the value of their discoveries.”

“The partnership with Pappas Capital will serve as an important catalyst for collaboration with industry,” said Eric Tomlinson, D.Sc., Ph.D., chief innovation officer, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. “Our relationship with Pappas Capital will help bring our faculty and researchers together with Pappas’ extensive network of pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies and disease-focused philanthropic foundations.”

The partnership serves to benefit investigators at Wake Forest School of Medicine. “One of the important attributes of this program is an increased ability to support faculty who have an interest and focus on discovery and technology innovation,” said Edward Abraham, M.D., dean, Wake Forest School of Medicine. “Our faculty and staff have the ideas, the passion and the commitment to develop technologies having the potential to benefit patients in the community and worldwide.”

Media Relations

Paula Faria: pfaria@wakehealth.edu, 336-716-1279