(Cleveland, Ohio – Oxford, United Kingdom) – The Harrington Discovery Institute at University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio – part of The Harrington Project for Discovery & Development – and University of Oxford (Oxford) in the United Kingdom have announced the 2015 Oxford-Harrington Scholars: Helen McShane, MBBS, PhD and Claudia Monaco, MD, PhD.
This is the second year of the affiliation between Oxford and the Harrington Discovery Institute, combining the academic medical centers’ expertise and resources to advance drug research and development.
Professor McShane’s work focuses on the development of a novel vaccination approach for tuberculosis, and Professor Monaco’s work focuses on anti-inflammatory agents for the treatment of cardiovascular disease.
The Oxford-Harrington Scholarship Program provides support to physician-scientists for preclinical drug development and early-stage clinical trials that hold promise but that are typically not far enough along in the drug development pipeline to attract financial support from the pharmaceutical industry.
“This international collaboration between Cleveland and Oxford is testament to the type of collaboration required to advance therapeutics that show promise in early R&D phases,” said Jonathan Stamler, MD, Director of the Harrington Discovery Institute and Robert S. and Sylvia K. Reitman Family Foundation Distinguished Chair in Cardiovascular Innovation and Director of the Institute for Transformative Molecular Medicine at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and UH Case Medical Center. “We set the sites of physician entrepreneurs on tangible end points: The Harrington Project model is already proving itself in the U.S. with licenses and developmental partnerships between physician-scientists and pharmaceutical companies who recognize the value of this approach. We now are duplicating the model with our Oxford colleagues, building bridges to deliver results.”
The Harrington Discovery Institute, a nonprofit organization, was formed in 2012 to help connect inventive physician research with industrial partners. Universities support discovery research and early development of drugs, but pharmaceutical companies and venture investors who once supported the intermediate stages of development, now often wait until after a new drug’s effectiveness has been proven. That loss of support in the middle stages of drug development is a growing problem that has left many physician-scientists with no choice but to shelve their brightest ideas.
“I am delighted that Professors McShane and Monaco have been selected as the next Oxford-Harrington Scholars, said Professor Sir John Bell, Regius Professor of Medicine, University of Oxford. “Their involvement in this relatively new collaboration between Oxford and Harrington Discovery Institute is exciting and builds on the success of our first scholar, Professor Simmons. The programme allows clinician scientist at Oxford to work with drug development teams to further develop their research to real-world outcomes.”
Oxford-Harrington Scholars will have access to the Harrington Discovery Institute’s Innovation Support Center for strategic project management that includes dedicated drug development experts from industry that will be charged with advising on and materially helping the translational and drug development efforts of Oxford-Harrington Scholars.
The Oxford-Harrington Scholarship Program was launched in November 2014. Its first scholar was Alison Simmons, MD, PhD, to support her research into inflammation that occurs as part of Crohn’s disease. This year, the University of Oxford in partnership with the Harrington Discovery Institute selected Professors. McShane and Monaco for their work at the front lines of patient care and their translational research to find cures for devastating illnesses and chronic conditions.