Program Details

Lena Gray, P.T. &

Baby Development Expert

M E D I C I N E S    D I S C O V E R Y    A W A R D    P R O G R A M

The EDI Medicine Award Program is a competitive drug discovery and accelerator program, and not grant funding. The program seeks to identify and accelerate promising early stage drug discovery to early “proof of concept.” Successful projects will exit out of the program as either a licensing transaction to a strategic pharmaceutical partner or through the formation of an EDI-created startup company.

Projects that are invited to join the accelerator will be provided access to EDI investment capital and pharmaceutical industry expertise. Once in the accelerator, a workplan and budget will be co-developed by EDI management, the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) and the project investigator(s). EDI will coordinate and manage the workplan through its network of contract research organizations (CROs), specialty service providers, pharmaceutical industry experts and consultants. Specific aspects of the project that will be conducted in the investigator’s laboratory will be provided financial support, on a project-specific basis.

The EDI accelerator model seeks to build close collaboration and interaction between EDI management, the SAB, third party specialty providers (CROs), Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs), outside investors, strategic pharmaceutical partners, and the academic investigator(s). Following successful entry into the program, EDI will form a project team comprised of EDI program management, selected SAB members and the principal investigator(s). This project team will be responsible for developing the program-specific workplan, budget, timelines, and milestone objectives. Progress against milestones and advancement to the next level of support will be evaluated on an annual basis by EDI’s Portfolio Review Committee.

Projects accepted into the accelerator will potentially be eligible to receive the following resources based on the successful completion of the milestones and annual SAB review:

  • Between $100,000 and $7.5 million in total program support over five years, including payments to CROs -- ongoing funding is contingent on annual review of progress

  • Collaboration with EDI’s Scientific Advisory Board, strategic partners and consultant network

  • Drug discovery and development expertise

  • Project management and planning

  • Business and commercialization leadership

  • Participation in startup formation when appropriate to attract private investment

  • Clinical development advice

  • Regulatory strategy and investigational new drug (IND) application preparation

  • Intellectual property review and filing support

  • External program financing through venture capital and/or strategic pharmaagreements

S E L E C T I O N     C R I T E R I A

EDI is interested in programs that provide novel insights into the pathways and molecular determinants of human disease.  We prefer programs that have a clear mechanism of action or possess a well-defined genetic basis for the underlying condition and projects with a strong biomarker component are highly desirable.  EDI is open to applications across a wide range of therapeutic areas providing a strong scientific, medical and commercial rationale can be made. Programs in the fields of cancer, neurological diseases/CNS conditions and platform

technologies with therapeutic potential across multiple diseases are of particular interest. Investigators working in the rare and orphan diseases are also encouraged to apply.

Qualifying programs should (at a minimum) have data to support the selection and validation of the proposed target. EDI will support the advancement of selected programs from the “Target to Hit” stage to “IND-ready” programs for entry into human clinical trials. This is a step-wise program that is anticipated to take approximately 5 years to advance a molecule from Stage 2 (Target to Hit) to Stage 5 (Pre-Clinical Development) with the completion of IND-enabling regulatory studies to facilitate clinical testing. 

Ideally, the program should have the potential for the creation of new and novel “composition of matter” patents. We are agnostic to the therapeutic modality and we are open to programs that are based on the development of small molecules, biologics (peptides, proteins, antibodies), oligonucleotide (RNA, DNA based therapies), vaccines, gene and cell based therapies. We do not currently support the development of diagnostic products or medical devices.

A P P L I C A T I O N     P R O C E S S

Are you Ready to Apply?

The 2019 EDI Medicines Award Program is now open.  Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis until the November 29th 2019 submission deadline.


Two application opportunities will be announced each year.  Investigators holding a full-time position at the University of Rochester, University at Buffalo and Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center are eligible to apply and must be submitted by the posted deadline on the application form. 

The SAB will review applications and investigators with a program of interest will be invited to make a 30 minute presentation to the selection board before a final decision for support is made.  


EDI and the Scientific Advisory Board will work closely with the awardee and their affiliated institution to maximize the clinical and commercial potential of the selected program.

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Contact Us 

601 Elmwood Ave, Box EDI

Rochester, NY 14642

(585) 276-3150