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Wistar and Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pa. Forge Collaboration to Accelerate Technology Commercialization

PHILADELPHIA — (April 27, 2018) —The Wistar Institute and Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania (Ben Franklin), a nonprofit conglomerate of partners providing direct/seed funding, mentorship and networks to strengthen enterprise development, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to accelerate the advancement of early-stage life sciences start-ups coming out of Wistar. Ben Franklin recently announced the seed funding of ISOMA Diagnostics, a Wistar spin-out dedicated to helping identify targeted therapies for glioblastoma patients, as well as growth stage funding for MBF Therapeutics, Wistar’s licensee that is developing innovative and highly effective immunotherapies for cancer and infectious diseases in animals. 

Under the MoU, Ben Franklin and Wistar will be developing a multidisciplinary mentoring program around technology development for translational scientists and entrepreneurs, taking place at Wistar, called “Ben-In-Residence,” which features Ben Franklin representative experts who will contribute support and guidance on technology commercialization, with the potential to fund Wistar start-ups. 

“The Wistar and Ben Franklin collaboration brings together exceptional science, future product opportunities, talent and seed funding to ignite entrepreneurialism in our life sciences community” said Heather Steinman, Ph.D., MBA, Vice President for Business Development and Executive Director of Technology Transfer at Wistar, “We are very pleased to be working closely with Ben Franklin.”

This joint initiative accelerates Wistar-backed technologies and builds on the strength of the region’s tech sector.

“Ben Franklin’s focus is accelerating meaningful enterprise growth from the great potential of Wistar’s biomedical innovators, to lift both the sector and region to new heights,” said Anthony P. Green, Ph.D., Vice President of the Ben Franklin Technology Commercialization Group. “This partnership and its components promote the creation of new businesses spinning out of Wistar—future partnerships that can flourish as unprecedented commercialization opportunities.”

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The Wistar Institute is an international leader in biomedical research with special expertise in cancer research and vaccine development. Founded in 1892 as the first independent nonprofit biomedical research institute in the United States, Wistar has held the prestigious Cancer Center designation from the National Cancer Institute since 1972. The Institute works actively to ensure that research advances move from the laboratory to the clinic as quickly as possible. Wistar’s Business Development Team is dedicated to advancing Wistar Science and Technology Development through creative partnerships. wistar.org.

Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania (Ben Franklin) is the most active early stage capital provider for the region’s technology sectors. Ben Franklin combines best practices of venture capital with a public-spirited purpose: leading the region’s technology community to new heights, creating jobs and changing lives for the better. Ben Franklin is an initiative of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and is funded by the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority. www.sep.benfranklin.org

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