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American Cancer Society Selects First Project in New Accelerator Pipeline
Funds and intellectual support aim to help speed medical devices and technology to market

September 4, 2018—The American Cancer Society (ACS) and the Global Center for Medical Innovation (GCMI) have selected the first project to be funded under a recently launched partnership to identify, fund, and promote promising medical devices and technologies within the ACS portfolio of current or previously-funded research. The goal of the initiative is to identify and solve critical unmet needs through innovative technology solutions to diagnose and treat cancer and bring them to market.

The ACS and GCMI have selected Boston University’s BOTLab as the first oncology project to enter the program. BOTLab, short for Biomedical Optical Technologies Lab, will receive up to $100,000 to accelerate BOTLab’s near-infrared spectroscopy (NIR) technology. The aim is to use the technology to provide real-time data that can determine how well chemotherapy is working in breast cancer patients. The funding is in addition to an existing ACS grant to investigators at BOTlab, and  its purpose is to accelerate high-quality commercialization of innovative medical technologies.

The initiative is part of an ACS effort to invest in later stage development projects among ACS grantees to speed the development of diagnostics, drugs, and therapies to help cancer patients. By promoting a culture of innovation and commercialization, ACS seeks to increase the impact of each donor dollar and reduce time-to-cures. ACS seeks to allow select ACS grantees to work closely with medical product development experts to translate their research ideas into high-quality products for commercial launch and patient treatment in a time and cost-efficient manner.

Together with GCMI, the ACS will continue to identify projects from among current and past grantees that are appropriate for development of medical devices and technologies in the accelerator setting to create a strong pipeline of opportunities for clinical and/or commercial development within the partnership.

Through this partnership, the two organizations will bring together healthcare centers, academic centers, leading researchers, industry and product development experts with an international group of innovative companies to identify and solve critical unmet needs through innovative technology solutions to diagnose and treat cancer.

The ACS and GCMI have committed to jointly raise a $5 million dedicated Partnership Development Fund for exclusive use to cover project activity costs under the partnership. The initiative aims to fund three to five projects per year.