UB’s Empire Discovery Institute Funding & Supporting Early Stage Clinical Investigators

UB’s Empire Discovery Institute Funding & Supporting Early Stage Clinical Investigators

The Empire Discovery Institute (EDI), a drug discovery and development accelerator in Upstate New York, invites University of Buffalo (UB) researchers and investigators interested in developing pharmaceuticals to apply for project funding and support.  Established by UB, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, and the University of Rochester, EDI seeks to convert these research centers’ scientific breakthroughs into viable pharmaceuticals for commercialization.

Valley of Death

Life science researchers too often don’t have sufficient capital to continue their research and development efforts. Moreover, they often lack pharmaceutical industry expertise to advance programs to late stage milestones that can attract funding. EDI seeks to help these researchers overcome these key challenges.

The Offering

Those that are selected have access to significant support including cash.  Some examples include:

·         Between $100,000 and $7.5 million in total program support over 5 years including payments to contract research organizations (CROs). Ongoing funding is contingent on annual review of progress.

·         Collaboration with EDI’s Scientific Advisory Board, strategic partners and consultant network.

·         Drug Discovery and development expertise

·         Project management and planning

·         Business and commercial leadership

·         Participation in startup formation when appropriate to attract private investment

·         Clinical development advice

·         Regulatory strategy and investigational new drug (IND) application preparation

·         Intellectual property review and filing support

·         Assistance identifying and securing additional financing (based on program needs)


To be considered for EDI support, researchers must complete the application describing their drug discovery program. The EDI team will review and select the most promising programs and with input from the research teams, design a milestone-based project plan.


UB and University of Rochester researchers have until November 29, 2019 to apply for the 2019 EDI Medicines Award Program. In accordance with the plan, EDI will fund the researcher’s lab and CRO to execute the plan. It is expected that successful programs will be licensed at the IND stage or spun out into venture-based startups.

Lead Contacts

Michael Fowler ([email protected]) or for researchers from others schools, contact Timothy Dee ([email protected]).

Call to Action: For those interested in applying for this promising drug discovery and development incubator program, we include the contact information