A well-recognized gap exists in the path from biomedical discovery in academia to clinical application and commercialization of therapeutic, device, and diagnostic technologies in cardiovascular, pulmonary, hematologic, and sleep disorders. This chasm is the result of inadequate funding for support of proof-of-concept or validation studies essential for early stage development;insufficient access to the resources and expertise needed to develop new technologies;and a lack of knowledge and experience among academic investigators in bringing new ideas to commercial realization. Within the partnering institutions included in this application, the essential elements exist with which to build the infrastructure needed to support and sustain the uninterrupted, durable flow of inventions from discovery through development and commercialization. While these institutions have a clear track record of remarkably successful development of many biomedical technologies, most of these commercial successes have been achieved by the tenacity of individual inventors rather than with the help of committed institutional mechanisms. We proposed to address these key shortcomings by establishing the regional Boston Center for Accelerated Innovation in Therapeutics, Devices, and Diagnostics for Heart, Lung, Blood, and Sleep Disorders (B-BIC, or the Boston Biomedical Innovation Center). The key objectives of this Center are to: 1) develop an integrated infrastructure that would expand the universe of commercializable technologies for heart, lung, blood, and sleep disorders;2) place these opportunities in the proper evaluative context through an engagement ("seed it"), solicitation ("find it"), and selection ("pick it") strategy;3) efficiently and effectively bring those selected to an appropriate exit point from the development process;and 4) provide the educational and mentoring infrastructure necessary for the development of the proper entrepreneurial skills among academic innovators. By achieving these goals, B-BlC would change the culture of our academic environment, as well as the relationship between the public and private sectors in facilitating successful development strategies for technologies in heart, lung, blood, and sleep disorders for the ultimate benefit of patients and society.
Translation of basic observations into clinical practice is limited by the resources needed for development, inadequate experience of academic investigators, and the discovery-focused academic culture. Building an academic infrastructure that facilitates translation by promoting development is an important goal to ensure the successful translation of research into benefit for patients and society.