Cancer, life sciences projects win $3.3M in grants
Four state universities and the Eastern Virginia Medical School will receive $3.3 million in grant funding for medical research and bioscience collaborations, Gov. Ralph Northam announced Monday.
Awards from the 10th round of funding from nonprofit Virginia Catalyst, formerly known as Virginia Biosciences Health Research Corp., range from $400,000 to $800,000, going to six projects run by researchers at George Mason University, the University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia Tech and EVMS.
Study subjects include commercializing a new treatment for metastatic cancers; treating lung and brain cancers; developing biofungicides that protect crops; designing a nonsurgical eardrum repair method; and other medical innovations. Two universities collaborate on each project, and the grants are meant to be matched by outside investors.
“This grant program requires ‘skin in the game,’ because award recipients must find industry partners willing to invest matching funds for their projects,” Mike Grisham, Virginia Catalyst’s CEO, said in a statement. “This brings investment capital here to finance commercialization of Virginia’s innovations.”
The funding, the governor’s office says, will contribute to innovations that can improve people’s health, create jobs and create funding streams for Virginia universities, as well as strengthen the state’s competitive advantage in life sciences research.
In its 10 rounds of funding during the past six years, Virginia Catalyst has awarded 43 grants totaling $20 million, resulting in more than $34 million in matching funds and an additional $163 million in follow-on funding. The General Assembly, along with U.Va., VCU, Virginia Tech, EVMS, GMU, Old Dominion University and William & Mary, funds Virginia Catalyst.
“Virginia Catalyst is driving this progress, strengthening scientific collaboration and enabling the Commonwealth to compete on a national scale,” Northam said in a statement. “Virginia has deployed $70 million in grants that leveraged another $650 million in follow-on funding to accelerate science and technology-based research, development and commercialization.”