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NIH REACH Program to Speed Commercialization of Health Technologies

Impact of Viruses on Special PopulationsThe National Institutes of Health has selected three new proof-of-concept hubs to help speed the translation of basic biomedical discoveries into commercial products, such as new drugs, devices, and diagnostics, to improve patient care and enhance health.

The hubs are part of the NIH-supported Research Evaluation and Commercialization Hubs (REACH) program and will be funded at $9 million over three years.

REACH is based on an initiative created by the NIH’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) called the NIH Centers for Accelerated Innovations (NCAI). These centers are a unique public-private partnership whose objective is to change how to identify and develop innovations with scientific and commercial potential.

The effort utilizes industry-style project management to arrive at technologies that are poised to launch. With the addition of the REACH, NIH has created a nationwide network of six centers and hubs to develop best practices in translating academic innovations into products to improve health.

The new REACH awardees are:

  • The Long Island Bioscience Hub: Stony Brook University, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Brookhaven National Laboratory, New York
  • The University of Louisville, Kentucky
  • The University of Minnesota, Minneapolis

The existing NCAI awardees are:

  • Boston Biomedical Innovation Center: Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston Children’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, and President and Fellows of Harvard College
  • Cleveland Clinic Innovation Accelerator: The Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine; Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland; Cincinnati Children’s Hospital; The Ohio State University, Columbus; and University of Cincinnati
  • University of California BRAID Center for Accelerated Innovation: University of California, Los Angeles; University of California, Davis; University of California, Irvine; University of California, San Diego; and University of California, San Francisco

The hubs will foster the development of therapeutics, preventatives, diagnostics, devices, and tools that address diseases within the NIH’s mission. Each hub will provide funding for feasibility studies and coordinated access to expertise in areas required for early stage technology development, including scientific, regulatory, reimbursement, business, legal, and project management. In addition, the hubs will provide skills development and hands-on experience in entrepreneurism.

The REACH program will take advantage of the NCAI’s established infrastructure and relationships, including partnerships with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the United States Patent Office, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

The REACHs and NCAIs will work collaboratively, share resources when appropriate, and develop best practices that will be made available to the public. To enhance the scope and impact of the NIH investment, each REACH has secured non-federal funding equal to or greater than the NIH award and developed partnerships with other regional public and private organizations.

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