New MoU signed to accelerate advancement of early-stage life sciences start-ups

The Wistar Institute and Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania (Ben Franklin), a nonprofit conglomerate of partners providing direct/seed funding, mentorship and networks to strengthen enterprise development, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to accelerate the advancement of early-stage life sciences start-ups coming out of Wistar. Ben Franklin recently announced the seed funding of ISOMA Diagnostics, a Wistar spin-out dedicated to helping identify targeted therapies for glioblastoma patients, as well as growth stage funding for MBF Therapeutics, Wistar's licensee that is developing innovative and highly effective immunotherapies for cancer and infectious diseases in animals.

Under the MoU, Ben Franklin and Wistar will be developing a multidisciplinary mentoring program around technology development for translational scientists and entrepreneurs, taking place at Wistar, called "Ben-In-Residence," which features Ben Franklin representative experts who will contribute support and guidance on technology commercialization, with the potential to fund Wistar start-ups.

"The Wistar and Ben Franklin collaboration brings together exceptional science, future product opportunities, talent and seed funding to ignite entrepreneurialism in our life sciences community" said Heather Steinman, Ph.D., MBA, Vice President for Business Development and Executive Director of Technology Transfer at Wistar, "We are very pleased to be working closely with Ben Franklin."

This joint initiative accelerates Wistar-backed technologies and builds on the strength of the region's tech sector.

"Ben Franklin's focus is accelerating meaningful enterprise growth from the great potential of Wistar's biomedical innovators, to lift both the sector and region to new heights," said Anthony P. Green, Ph.D., Vice President of the Ben Franklin Technology Commercialization Group. "This partnership and its components promote the creation of new businesses spinning out of Wistar-;future partnerships that can flourish as unprecedented commercialization opportunities."

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