VUMC and Roivant Social Ventures announce collaboration to develop therapies for underserved populationsJul. 6, 2022, 2:51 PM
by Bill Snyder
Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Roivant Social Ventures (RSV) this week announced an intention to collaborate in developing therapies for traditionally underserved populations and diseases.
RSV is a not-for-profit social impact organization founded by executives from Roivant Sciences that is focused on improving health equity. RSV invests in and incubates early-stage projects that address unmet medical needs.
The nonprofit will work with the Vanderbilt Institute for Clinical and Translational Research (VICTR) and its Drug Repurposing program to identify novel indications for existing medications, particularly generic or shelved compounds.
By focusing on compounds with established safety and regulatory records, VICTR and RSV aim to bring treatments to market faster and more affordably. VICTR and RSV will incorporate directly into the framework of their collaboration concrete commitments to data transparency, clinical trial diversity and global affordable access in low- and middle-income countries.
“We have seen firsthand the potential of existing deprioritized drug programs to improve patient lives, through the approval of five drugs developed by Roivant Sciences-founded companies,” said RSV’s Founder and CEO, Lindsay Androski, JD, MBA. “We are thrilled to partner with VUMC and VICTR and, together, apply this experience and knowledge in a targeted way to help underserved patient populations.”
VICTR is the home of VUMC’s Clinical and Translational Science Award from the National Institutes of Health. VICTR’s goal is to speed the translation and application of scientific discoveries from the laboratory to improve patient care.
“Our program has always pursued the goal of increasing the efficiency of biomedical development to help generate effective, affordable therapies for patients in need,” said VICTR’s executive director, Jill Pulley, MBA. “This academic-philanthropic relationship is an example of how collaboration can help increase our scope and capabilities as we continue to pursue our goals.”
VICTR’s Drug Repurposing team consists of a multidisciplinary group of biomedical scientists who have launched multiple clinical trials at VUMC to test new uses for safe, low cost, FDA-approved medications.
“This new relationship brings together two groups with similar goals and complementary skillsets,” said Michael Orr, PhD, senior scientific manager on the VICTR Drug Repurposing team. “These types of collaborations offer promise for developing impactful innovations that are intentionally designed to serve those who need them most.”