Case Western Reserve University and the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation have created a $20 million endowment that’s aimed at translating biomedical research into commercial products and clinical practices.
The creation of the endowment will allow Case’s translational research program funded by the Coulter Foundation to continue in perpetuity. The program was created in 2006 with a $4.8 million grant from the Coulter Foundation to Case, according to a statement from the university.
The program at Case has helped launch six startup companies and has funded 62 translational research projects. Examples include projects involving the development of advanced imaging technology techniques and thermally-stable insulin.
Case was one of just six U.S. universities to receive the endowment funding from Coulter. The others are Drexel University, Duke University, University of Michigan, Stanford University and University of Virginia.
The Coulter grants work differently than those from the National Institutes of Health and other federal research agencies, more closely resembling a business model, according to Jeffrey Duerk, chairman of biomedical engineering at Case.
““The projects have quarterly milestones and can be shelved by the oversight committee if milestones are not met,” he said. “With the Coulter process, there is strong emphasis on the successful transfer to commercialization.”
The late Wallace H. Coulter, benefactor of the foundation that bears his name, was a serial innovator and entrepreneur. He founded Miami, Florida-based medical diagnostics company Coulter Corporation, now part of Beckman Coulter (NYSE:BEC).
Coulter Corporation developed several innovations for hematology and laboratory medicine, including the Coulter Principle, a method for counting and sizing microscopic particles suspended in fluid that led to automation and quick analysis of complete blood counts.