JDRF Commits $5M to a Novel Venture-Creating Entity Called T1D Innovations

–Under PureTech’s direction, in collaboration with leading T1D-focused organizations, T1D Innovations will create and fund companies to translate key medical discoveries into novel type 1 diabetes products–

Boston, MA and New York, NY, October 15, 2013JDRF, the world’s largest non-profit supporter of type 1 diabetes (T1D) research, and PureTech, a technology development company tackling tomorrow’s biggest healthcare problems, announced today the launch of T1D Innovations, a novel venture-creating entity designed to accelerate the development of innovative T1D therapies.

T1D Innovations was spawned from PureTech’s broader “Valley of Life” initiative; an effort designed to commercialize breakthroughs in areas of great unmet medical need by bringing together interested companies, disease foundations, and investors.

T1D Innovations will create and fund high-impact companies developing innovative T1D-related therapies, enabling them to cross the well-known biomedical “valley of death” – the notorious gap that often prevents promising biomedical discoveries from being translated into patient-saving products. In addition to JDRF’s leadership role in this initiative, Special Partners Joslin Diabetes Center and T1D Exchange will bring their valuable scientific, clinical, and patient engagement capabilities to the collaboration.

At a time when basic biomedical innovation is flourishing but translational funding is scarce, JDRF and PureTech believe collaborative translational and entrepreneurial efforts such as this will be critical to bolstering the T1D product pipeline and accelerating the development of groundbreaking products for individuals with T1D.

JDRF is the first investor in T1D Innovations, and its investment commitment is driven by T1D Innovations’ clear potential to help achieve JDRF’s mission-driven goals. PureTech will combine JDRF’s investment with those from other leading not-for-profit, strategic, and financial investors to create a resource pool with the potential to have a meaningful impact on the T1D product pipeline. Additional investors will be required to achieve the objectives of this initiative. Investors will also participate in any financial returns. T1D Innovations will enable and accelerate the development and progress of opportunities aligned with JDRF’s research priorities, placing an emphasis on therapies that help restore or maintain glycemic control or have the potential of restoring normal physiology for people living with or at risk for developing T1D. JDRF’s funding of T1D Innovations represents a multi-year commitment to this effort.

JDRF President and CEO Jeffrey Brewer stated, “T1D Innovations is a unique opportunity to fund entrepreneurial activity at the translational stage of the type 1 diabetes product pipeline, allowing us to drive the most commercially promising type 1 diabetes research projects into the clinic while leveraging the co-investment of other partners. This new initiative complements JDRF’s current grant making and industry partnering activities, which are respectively focused on early stage exploratory research and later stage product development opportunities. Now, by supporting company formation around breakthrough type 1 diabetes research and working at each phase of the R&D pipeline, JDRF is better positioned to achieve our goal of delivering progressively advanced therapies to individuals living with or at risk of type 1 diabetes. We are excited to work with PureTech and access their unique entrepreneurial expertise toward advancing our mission.”

PureTech, with deep expertise in translating health innovations to address major medical needs, sees collaboration with leading not-for-profits such as JDRF as a critical step in driving medical innovation forward in the 21st century.  David Steinberg, PureTech Partner, said, “JDRF is one of the most innovative and successful disease foundations in the world and we are thrilled to be working alongside them to tackle this critical disease in an exciting new way.  We’ve developed a unique financial, legal, and entrepreneurial framework to foster innovation and we look forward to working with the type 1 diabetes community to make it a success.”

About JDRF
JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. JDRF’s goal is to progressively remove the impact of T1D from people’s lives until we achieve a world without T1D. JDRF collaborates with a wide spectrum of partners and is the only organization with the scientific resources, regulatory influence, and a working plan to better treat, prevent, and eventually cure T1D.

As the largest charitable supporter of T1D research, JDRF is currently sponsoring $530 million in scientific research in 17 countries.  In fiscal year 2013 alone, JDRF provided more than $106 million to T1D research. More than 80 percent of JDRF’s expenditures directly support research and research-related education. In 2012, Forbes magazine named JDRF one of its five All-Star charities, citing the organization’s efficiency and effectiveness.

About PureTech
PureTech is a technology development company focused on developing best-in-class solutions to tomorrow’s biggest healthcare problems. Alongside top scientist-inventors and industry partners, PureTech deconstructs healthcare problems and solves them in an entirely new ways. PureTech’s pipeline of over a dozen products includes several clinical-stage programs poised to disrupt multi-billion dollar market segments.

PureTech’s programs are developed by first focusing on the problem, often in partnership with large strategics, and then solving the problem in a non-obvious way together with a brilliant group of cross-disciplinary experts, unencumbered by the bounds of traditional drug development.  The company concentrates on a handful of major initiative areas at a time, generates and reviews hundreds of technologies, and drives forward one to two programs a year.

PureTech Media Contact:
David Steinberg; 617-456-0980; dsteinberg@puretechventures.com

JDRF Media Contacts:
Peter Cleary; 212-479-7665; pcleary@jdrf.org
Tara Wilcox-Ghanoonparvar; 212-479-7524; twilcox-ghanoonparvar@jdrf.org