The University of Virginia, Virginia Tech and VCU are partnering with the Commonwealth to launch a biotechnology, life sciences and pharmaceutical manufacturing network that is being touted as a future Virginia Research Triangle.
The budget from the Youngkin administration that will be formally sent to the Virginia General Assembly next week will include a total of $90 million in one-time funds to the University of Virginia’s Manning Institute for Biotechnology, Virginia Tech’s Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC, and the Virginia Commonwealth University’s Medicines for All Institute.
The institutions will partner with the Virginia Innovation Partnership Authority to collaborate on commercialization and startup support.
“Today’s investment announcement lays the groundwork for remarkable startup innovation and commercialization that interconnects Charlottesville, the Greater Richmond Area, Roanoke and the New River Valley,” Gov. Glenn Youngkin said in a statement in a news release from his office sent to media outlets on Monday.
“Through this state commitment and private philanthropy, we are building Virginia’s research triangle and network, supporting our higher education institutions’ research endeavors, and expanding Virginia’s university research capacity that will enhance life-saving research development for generations to come. My administration is committed to building Virginia’s research engine for the future and creating high-paying jobs in the process,” Youngkin said.
The Virginia Innovation Partnership Authority will convene the three institutions to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Authority and each other. Once the MOU is signed by the three institutions and by VIPA, $50 million will be available for UVA’s Manning Institute for Biotechnology, $27 million will be available for Virginia Tech’s Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC, and $13 million will be available for VCU’s Medicines for All Institute.
“Innovation is at the heart of a thriving economy and the Commonwealth of Virginia. Today’s landmark investment announced by Gov. Youngkin will help accelerate university collaboration and elevate Virginia’s leadership in the critical biotech, life sciences, and pharmaceutical manufacturing health sectors,” said Joseph Benevento, president of the Virginia Innovation Partnership Authority.
“We are exceptionally grateful for the governor’s announcement today of the Commonwealth’s additional funding for the UVA Paul and Diane Manning Institute of Biotechnology,” said Dr. K. Craig Kent, CEO of UVA Health and executive vice president of health affairs for University of Virginia. “We look forward to continued collaboration with our other university research colleagues and the full spectrum of bioscience partners across Virginia.”
“The Commonwealth will greatly benefit from this major collaborative initiative from Gov. Youngkin to advance biomedical research, innovation and translation at and between the states major academic health centers. This investment will not only advance the ongoing biomedical and health sciences research at the states three largest academic medical centers but will facilitate increased collaboration and innovation between them,” said Dr. Mike Friedlander, executive director of Virginia Tech’s Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC and Virginia Tech vice president of health sciences and technology.
“For the last decade, VCU’s Medicine for All Institute has led the world in developing innovations to making medicines by lowering costs, strengthening supply resilience, and increasing quality. As we look towards the next decade of the advanced pharmaceutical manufacturing industry in Virginia, Medicine for All is excited to be a partner in growing the capabilities and job opportunities this industry can bring to the Commonwealth. Gov. Youngkin’s continued investment and support is helping make this a reality and we are grateful to be a part of this important initiative,” said Dr. Frank Gupton, the co-founder of Phlow and CEO at Medicines for All.