SALT LAKE CITY - A new initiative aims to speed the process of bringing lifesaving medical discoveries made in University of Utah laboratories to new drugs and therapies for patients. The university's Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI), College of Pharmacy, and the Partners for Innovation, Ventures, Outreach & Technology (PIVOT) Center have partnered to establish the University of Utah Therapeutics Accelerator Hub (U2TAH, or the Accelerator). The new Accelerator will provide resources and expertise to researchers to support the process of translating research discoveries into innovative clinical applications. U2TAH will be operated by the PIVOT Center, providing the resources needed to develop university-based therapeutic technologies and bring them into the clinic.

The major goal of the Accelerator is to eliminate hurdles that often hinder the process of translating laboratory discoveries into new drugs for patients. Federal government and private industry research often supports discovery research done in a lab and clinical research that tests whether new medicines effectively treat patients. However, between the discovery research and clinical research phases, a process called preclinical development must occur, wherein drug candidates are refined and tested for safety. Relatively little funding exists to support the challenging process of preclinical development, so at many universities, promising new drug candidates languish after discovery and are never advanced to human testing. The Accelerator will work to provide the vital preclinical development expertise to help bridge the gap between laboratory discoveries and clinical research.
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