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Stanford Alliance for Innovative Medicines

The Stanford Alliance for Innovative Medicines (Stanford AIM) accelerates the translation of Stanford research into next-generation treatments that impact human health.

About Stanford AIM

Stanford AIM was launched in summer 2017 as a new partnership with Takeda Pharmaceutical Company to accelerate the translation of research discoveries at Stanford into small molecule drugs and other therapies. Stanford AIM brings Stanford and Takeda scientists into close collaboration to share ideas, knowhow, and technical acumen. Stanford faculty projects selected to participate in the program will benefit from access to industry drug development know-how and in-kind use of robust industry research functionalities such as medicinal chemistry, high-throughput screening, pharmacokinetics, or safety/toxicity profiling. Stanford will retain all intellectual property from Stanford AIM-supported research and Takeda scientists will get the chance to participate in cutting edge research at one of the nation's top research universities.

Read the Stanford AIM Press Release

How does Stanford AIM work?

Stanford AIM accepts letters of intent from Stanford faculty approximately every six months. The first call for letters of intent will open in November 2017. Ideal projects for entrance into Stanford AIM will have a compelling therapeutic rationale, an identified protein target that is amenable to therapeutic intervention, and sufficient evidence to support the rationale for a drug discovery effort. It is essential that the letters of intent submitted to the program identify a novel target or a novel approach to a known target with a distinct advantage over existing approaches to that target. Stanford AIM is open to all therapeutic areas and modalities with an emphasis on small molecule or protein therapeutics at this time. The goal of Stanford AIM is to advance selected faculty projects through proof-of-concept in animals by leveraging in-kind access to discovery and preclinical development capabilities through Takeda.

Selection Process

Stanford AIM uses a two-phase process to select projects for support. The first phase is a letter of intent (LOI) submission. Submitted LOIs will be reviewed internally within Stanford to ensure that the proposal demonstrates a direct path to therapeutic development and for novelty. A Takeda representative will then review only the title of submitted LOIs to eliminate proposals with potential internal Takeda program conflicts. A Review Committee, consisting of an equal number of Stanford faculty and Takeda scientists, will review the remaining LOIs. The Review Committee will select a short list of LOIs for invitation to submit a full proposal. The full proposal will include full rationale, work plans, budgets, resourcing, and success criteria. Full proposals will be developed by the Stanford investigator with Takeda participation. The Review Committee will rank and recommend full proposals for support to the Stanford AIM Board. The number of projects selected for entry in to AIM will depend on available resources from Takeda and Stanford. Stanford AIM anticipates selecting 3 – 4 projects in the first year through two rounds of calls for proposals. Stanford AIM hopes to support 6 – 8 projects at steady state.

Support Provided

Support for projects selected to enter the Stanford AIM pipeline will come in two forms. Takeda will provide discovery and preclinical development capabilities, resources and expertise. The specific resource commitments for each project will be developed as part of the full proposal development process and ultimately determined by the Stanford AIM Board. It is anticipated that most selected projects will receive in-kind support for ~18 months. Stanford faculty will be responsible for supporting any Stanford faculty effort, relevant laboratory personnel effort, as well as any research costs for collaboration activities carried out at Stanford. To help defray collaboration costs incurred at Stanford, Stanford projects selected for entry into AIM can request up to $75k in research support in the form of a University Research award from Stanford ChEM-H as part of the full proposal budget.

How to Apply

Please check back in Spring 2018 for the next call for Letter of Intent.


For more information on Stanford AIM, please contact