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Program that Accelerates Drug Discovery Receives $400,000 Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation Grant

Milwaukee, July 12, 2019 – The Therapeutic Accelerator Program (TAP) at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) recently received funding from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) to support the program’s collaborations with other regional biohealth institutions and companies to accelerate drug discovery by translating research into therapies.

TAP, within the MCW Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology’s Drug Discovery Center, takes a pioneering approach to developing new therapeutics in order to reduce risk and increase the value of the project for commercialization. Upon completion of milestones in a funding cycle, TAP plans the next critical steps and goals until there is sufficient data, information and value for a therapeutic to be licensed, partner with a biotechnology company or launch a startup.

With a $400,000 grant from the WEDC’s Targeted Industry Projects (TIP) program, TAP will not only continue accelerating discoveries from academic scientists from concept to commercialization, it will also work to cultivate the next generation of southeastern Wisconsin biohealth workers through pioneering training and educational experiences, and enhance the region’s innovation ecosystem by fostering academic industry collaborations.

“We are extremely excited about the new partnership between TAP and the WEDC,” said John D. Imig, PhD, director of the Drug Discovery Center and professor of pharmacology and toxicology at MCW. “This partnership will further enable TAP to make a major impact in southeastern Wisconsin by developing drugs and therapeutics for improving health and quality of life.”

By utilizing the existing infrastructure and resources at MCW and other regional academic institutions and biotechnology companies, TAP ensures a zero expenditure on infrastructure.

The WEDC’s TIP program supports industry cluster and sector development in Wisconsin. The program offers a continuum of services that advance targeted, high-growth business consortia and industry culminating over time in the development, diversification and growth in sectors that provide sustained high-quality jobs, continued innovation and increase in GDP in the state.

“WEDC’s investment in MCW’s TAP program is a significant gain for southeast Wisconsin,” said Vincent Rice, vice president of sector strategy development for WEDC. “The fund will allow MCW’s program and facilities to reach a larger education community while enabling growth of the entire state’s drug discovery capabilities. This is a major expansion of Wisconsin’s biohealth footprint.”

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