MSK Partnership News


Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK), The Rockefeller University, and Weill Cornell Medicine today announced that the Tri-Institutional Therapeutics Discovery Institute, Inc. (Tri-I TDI) has renewed its collaborations with partners Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (Takeda) and Bridge Medicines.

A pioneering academic-industry collaboration, the Tri-I TDI was established in 2013 to expedite early-stage drug discovery of novel therapies, including small molecules and biologics. To date, work done within the Tri-I TDI has resulted in the launch of two New York City–based companies and the licensing of six therapeutic discovery programs, with additional programs under active negotiation.

As the Tri-I TDI’s industry partner, Takeda contributes financial support, along with a wealth of drug discovery knowledge and expertise and best practices gained from its position as an established industry leader in the pharmaceutical sector.

In 2016, the Tri-I TDI announced the launch of Bridge Medicines in partnership with Takeda and healthcare investment firms Deerfield Management Company and Bay City Capital. Bridge Medicines is a groundbreaking initiative that completes a seamless, fully funded, and professionally staffed path from concept to drug candidate to efficiently develop innovative therapeutics for the treatment of human diseases.

“The Tri-I TDI is thrilled to welcome this continued collaboration with Takeda and Bridge Medicines. Over the last six years, we have only just begun to realize the untapped innovative potential in the Tri-Institute academic community. The continued engagement of these seasoned drug discovery professionals is a transformational event for our scientific community. This collaboration will allow us to accelerate more new treatments to patients and further enhance the biotechnology sector in New York City,” said Peter T. Meinke, PhD, the Sanders Director of the Tri-I TDI.

“Takeda is excited to continue our research work with world-class scientists as a result of this ongoing collaboration,” said Steve Hitchcock, PhD, Global Head of Research at Takeda. “We look forward to pursuing the opportunity to convert basic research concepts into innovative therapeutic programs that have the potential to address serious unmet medical needs.”

“The opportunity to interact closely, and often within walking distance, of such tremendous colleagues as our three premier institutions, their internationally renowned scientists and physicians, and the Tri-I TDI, creates a truly unique collaborative environment to generate new and potentially lifesaving medicines,” said William Polvino, MD, CEO, Bridge Medicines. “Today’s extension of our collaboration demonstrates the great shared optimism for creating breakthrough medicines, none of which would be possible without the great people, great ideas, and financial and strategic backing of our partners at Deerfield Management, Bay City Capital, and Takeda. The collective investment of such talents and resources here in New York City is helping to create a vibrant biotech ecosystem that ultimately and hopefully will serve the ever-present needs of human healthcare.”

“Improving patients’ lives through the discovery and delivery of cutting-edge medicines is the fullest realization of the potential of academic medicine,” said Augustine M.K. Choi, MD, the Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean of Weill Cornell Medicine. “Our remarkable partnership with the Tri-I TDI, Bridge Medicines, and Takeda is forging a new pathway for advancing lifesaving therapeutics and changing the face of medicine. We are immensely pleased to continue this pioneering work.”

“The Tri-I TDI, begun as an experiment into a new way of conducting early-stage drug discovery, has more than lived up to its promise, becoming an indispensable tool for Rockefeller faculty seeking to transform their discoveries into new medicines,” said Richard P. Lifton, MD, PhD, President of The Rockefeller University. “Takeda and Bridge Medicines have been outstanding partners in these endeavors, and we are thrilled to continue our work with them.”

“The Tri-I TDI and its partnerships with Takeda and Bridge Medicines provide MSK researchers with an unprecedented opportunity to discover promising therapeutic compounds and a pathway to get them to people with cancer more quickly than ever before. MSK is committed to the Tri-I TDI model, and together with Takeda and Bridge Medicines, we look forward to continuing its promising work for years to come,” said Craig B. Thompson, MD, President and CEO of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

The independent nonprofit Tri-I TDI was established to bridge the gap between groundbreaking early-stage academic research discoveries and the development of new diagnostic or therapeutic agents. The Tri-I TDI relies on recommendations from its scientific advisory board to select research projects that hold the greatest scientific promise and present the most innovative approaches to advancing human health. The organization supports translational research across the Tri-I community by leveraging the expertise of all three academic institutions and the Tri-I TDI’s industry partners, Takeda and Bridge Medicines. Its goals are to foster discovery and translational research, to provide high-quality educational opportunities to all members of the Tri-I community, and to deepen faculty involvement in drug discovery.

Philanthropy helps drive discoveries at the Tri-I TDI. The three parent institutions received a $30 million gift from Lewis and Ali Sanders to launch the Tri-I TDI and grow its mission. The institute also received a $5 million gift from Howard and Abby Milstein and receives additional funding through direct contributions from MSK, The Rockefeller University, and Weill Cornell Medicine. An important aspect of the Tri-I TDI continues to be the Sanders Innovation and Education Initiative, which lends organizational infrastructure, project management and director salary support, education for a new generation of drug discovery scientists, and in-lab support of faculty to drive the institute’s innovative mission.