LEO Foundation SPARK grants at Stanford

Beneficiary: Kevin Grimes, Director, SPARK Programme, Associate Professor, Chemical and Systems Biology, Stanford University, California, USA

Grant: DKK 4,500,000

Bridging the gap between early research and clinical development is a challenging endeavour. There is an inherent risk that early-stage programs will fail during development, no matter how promising the science is.

Such nascent programs are unlikely to attract interest from industry until they have reached significant milestones, and very little funding is available from the NIH, foundations, or private enterprise for this critical transition.

The LEO Foundation SPARK donations at Stanford will help incubate and accelerate dermatology projects. SPARK is a unique partnership between university and industry targeted advancement of Stanford research towards development of new breakthrough therapies. SPARK provides access to specialised knowledge and technical expertise regarding drug and diagnostic development, dedicated core laboratory facilities, and sources of funding to support translational efforts.

The donations will be awarded as a supplement to the existing suite of support and funding from Stanford and will ensure that as many as 15 Stanford dermatology projects will be progressed towards human proof of concept.

It is expected that the grant will foster a renewed and unique focus on dermatology at Stanford University and enable a larger number of orphan drug research projects to reach actual clinical development.

The grant from the LEO Foundation is paid out in three equal portions in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Learn more about the SPARK Program at Stanford University here.