PureTech Will Help Type 1 Diabetes Treatments Cross the “Valley of Death”

October 31, 2013

First published on MedCityNews.com.

First published on MedCityNews.com.

puretech diabetes startupPureTech Ventures will bring the business smarts while JDRF and other non-profits will bring the scientific knowledge to a new fund that’s hoping to turn potentially transformational type 1 diabetes discoveries into commercially viable products.

The first investor, JDRF, has committed $5 million to the project, called T1D Innovations.

The idea is that T1D Innovations will fund breakthroughs in areas of unmet need while allowing foundations to make mission-driven investments and realize financial returns to then re-invest in other new technologies. That’s especially important as federal research funding is feeling the pinch of the sequestration, and the number of venture capital dollars invested in life science companies continues to fall.

JDRF said the project will help usher technologies across the biomedical “valley of death,” resulting in the formation of new startups. Particular areas of focus include beta cell therapies, immune therapies, an artificial pancreas, glucose control and technologies that prevent or treat complications associated with type 1 diabetes.

Other collaborators include Joslin Diabetes Center and data hub T1D Exchange, which will bring scientific, clinical and patient engagement expertise to the table.

T1D Innovations is part of a broader initiative by technology development company PureTech, which works with scientists and entrepreneurs to fund and translate new solutions to healthcare challenges like obesity, cognitive disorders and depression.

PureTech’s David Steinberg told diatribe that the group hopes to raise up to $25 million more to fund up to a dozen companies as part of the project.