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T R A N S F O R M I N G    D I S C O V E R I E S    I N T O    M E D I C I N E S

The Empire Discovery Institute (EDI) is designed to help overcome key challenges typically faced by life science researchers in academia – lack of external funding to continue research efforts and lack of pharmaceutical industry expertise to advance these programs to fruition. 

Dr. Martin Graham, EDI’s Chief Executive Officer, has convened an expert panel of Scientific Advisory Board members. These members are all experienced pharmaceutical industry veterans with expertise in drug discovery & design, medicinal chemistry, drug formulation, pharmacology, toxicology, FDA regulatory strategy, clinical development, business development, biotechnology company entrepreneurship and drug product commercialization. Our aim is to identify medically important pathways and targets related to human disease that will serve as the basis for the discovery and development of novel, highly differentiated new therapeutics. 

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

  • $100,000 up to $7.5M in program support over five years (reviewed annually)

  • Access to EDI’s Scientific Advisory Board, strategic partners & consultant network

  • Drug discovery and development expertise

  • Project management & planning

  • Business and commercialization advice

  • Assistance in company incorporation & management

  • Clinical development advice

  • Regulatory strategy & IND preparation assistance

  • IP review and filing support

  • Assistance identifying and securing additional finance (based on program needs)

EDI is interested in programs that provide novel insights into the pathways and molecular determinants of human disease.  It prefers 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 accepts 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.

In close collaboration with its Scientific Advisory Board, EDI will help researchers design and conduct preclinical testing of promising compounds discovered in their laboratories. Investigators will also receive expert assistance in de novo drug design, medicinal chemistry, pre-clinical testing, drug formulation, pharmacology and safety testing to advance candidate drugs through the various phase of pre-clinical testing to the first-in-human (IND stage) clinical trials. 

To apply to the EDI Medicines Discovery Award Program, please visit our website.

A B O U T     U S 


Ron Newbold, PhD
Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Ronald Newbold has over 27 years of Business Development and Alliance Management experience leading business teams in negotiating over $1.5 billion in announced pharma/biotech deals.  Prior to joining EDI, Ron served as Senior Vice President and Head of US Business Development & Alliance Management, Otsuka America Pharmaceuticals, Princeton NJ. 


Ron acquired significant experience in external partnering in the Life Sciences field from his previous activities in large Pharma and biotech companies. Ron is a Ph.D. graduate of the University of Rochester. After completing his postdoctoral fellowship in Medicinal Chemistry at Harvard University, Ron joined Merck where he was ultimately responsible for Strategic Research Initiatives.  Following 14 years with Merck, Ron was the senior business development executive at Sentigen Biosciences, Celldex Therapeutics, and Auspex Pharmaceuticals.

Ron joined Pfizer in 2010 to manage a global team of scientists in over 10 countries evaluating and proposing partnerships of scientific value to broaden Pfizer’s early-stage pipeline. Ron was also responsible for starting and leading the Pfizer Seed Fund, created through an evolution of Pfizer’s Incubator. During Ron’s tenure with Pfizer, he served as Board Observer to several companies, as a member of the Neomed Therapeutics Scientific Advisory Board and he remains Vice Chairman of the Licensing and Ventures Group at the University of Virginia.

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