A new source of early funding was announced last month by the nonprofit organization Advancing Innovation in Dermatology (AID). Their goal? To spur innovation in new treatments to treat various skin conditions.
The AID Accelerator Fund is designed to bridge the gap between institutional research funding and traditional venture capital, according to the organization. Funding sources and other resources are being provided by AID, corporate strategics and business partners.
Awardees will be determined by the fund’s steering committee.
“We have started evaluating potential projects to support,” Steve Xu, M.D., co-founder of the fund, tells The Aesthetic Channel. “We will have a better idea what monies will be allocated after going through this process over the next several months.”
At this time, the accelerator fund is not disclosing dollar amounts.
Dr. Xu, an instructor in dermatology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, says that for him personally, the fund “is an example of how a nonprofit can bring together academics, industry, finance and legal experts to share expertise, passion and insight into help drive forward new innovations in dermatology. Our goal is that this shared vision and passion to help facilitate breakthrough innovation in our field will lead to important new treatments and diagnostics for patients with skin disease.”
Dr. Xu is thrilled about the collaborative nature of the initiative; the emphasis on breakthrough science; and the distinct focus on early stage, high-risk endeavors.
Besides early financial research support, the AID Accelerator Fund offers intellectual property and advisory support services to develop and advance an invention.
“We are excited about providing a structure and path forward for entrepreneurs, researchers and clinicians to bring forward their ideas, insights and products into the commercialization path,” says Dr. Xu, medical director of the Center for Bio-Integrated Electronics at Northwestern University.
“Because there is so much activation energy and challenges in finding early stage funding, many promising projects and technologies simply never see the light of day,” Dr. Xu says. “Still, we hope to increase the eventual pool of new innovations that do become products that benefit patients.”