Blackbird Labs, a Next-Generation Life Sciences Accelerator, Launches with $100 Million and Foundational Collaboration with Johns Hopkins University
Initial Areas of Focus Include Novel Therapeutics Across a Range of Modalities and Indications
BALTIMORE, MD, November 7, 2023 – Blackbird Laboratories, Inc. (“Blackbird Labs”), a next-generation life sciences accelerator, today announced that it has launched with a $100 million founding grant from The Stephen and Renee Bisciotti Foundation and research collaborations with Johns Hopkins University, the University of Maryland, Baltimore, and the Lieber Institute for Brain Development. Blackbird Labs’ mission is to accelerate the development and commercialization of novel medicines and cutting-edge technologies to enhance the well-being of patients facing unmet medical needs.
Blackbird Labs identifies innovative technologies within its partner institutions that require additional experimentation and business ideation in order to be ripe for start-up creation and investment by the broader venture capital and biopharma communities. Blackbird Labs provides capital, program management, and strategic scientific and business input from its newly recruited team of life sciences professionals, seeking to bridge the gap between pioneering academic science and industry. Initially, Blackbird Labs is focused on advancing innovation across a wide range of therapeutic modalities and indications, including inflammation and immunology, neurological diseases, genetic diseases, and cancer.
Blackbird Labs is led by Matt Tremblay, Ph.D., the CEO and a founding member of the board of directors since Blackbird Labs’ creation in January 2023. Formerly Chief Operating Officer of The Scripps Research Institute and its drug discovery division, Calibr, Tremblay brings a wealth of experience in early-stage technology research and business strategy. Together with Point Field Partners, the family office of Steve Bisciotti, Tremblay simultaneously created and serves as Managing Director of Wolf Point, LLC, which will provide early-stage venture capital co-investments as part of an integrated approach to fostering the biotechnology start-up ecosystem in Baltimore.
“We are thrilled to launch Blackbird Labs, a next-generation life sciences accelerator with a vision to develop new technologies and therapies emerging from premier research institutions here in Baltimore and across the country,” said Matt Tremblay, Ph.D., CEO. “We look forward to utilizing our collective expertise in academic translation, company creation, and drug development and leveraging our academic partnerships to lay the groundwork for the biotech companies of the future.”
Blackbird Labs launches with a world-class group of advisors spanning the global life sciences venture investment community and business leaders. “I’m excited that Johns Hopkins and the University of Maryland have a strong ally in Blackbird Labs to further unlock their potential to contribute to biotech innovation on the national stage,” said Josh Resnick, Senior Managing Director, RA Capital Management, who serves as an advisor to Blackbird Labs.
Underlying Blackbird Labs’ approach is a value-driven model focused on several core principles: de-risking innovative technology for commercialization; attracting investment and creating start-ups; entering into meaningful public-private partnerships; and fostering a success-based ecosystem in Baltimore that provides access to domain expertise, community resources, industry connections, and entrepreneurship/fellowship programs.
“Blackbird Labs is an exciting new element of our innovation ecosystem, a unique resource for funding and expertise to help bring Johns Hopkins technologies to market. Its focus on therapeutic assets – one of our strengths – and on Baltimore-based start-ups is well-aligned with our mission,” said Christy Wyskiel, Senior Advisor to the President of Johns Hopkins University for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Executive Director of Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures.
“Blackbird Labs is a transformative initiative for Baltimore. By accelerating commercialization of UMB technologies and helping to keep our startups in Baltimore, Matt and his team will have a meaningful impact on the Baltimore region and life science industry as a whole,” said Jim Hughes, Senior Vice President for Economic Development at University of Maryland, Baltimore
Blackbird Labs has already funded and established a portfolio of collaborations with its partners, including a novel oral therapeutic for Crohn’s and colitis; an RNA-based therapeutic platform targeting mRNA upregulation; a cell type-specific gene therapy platform technology; a multi-modal approach to schizophrenia; and a patient-facing digital platform aimed at accelerating clinical trial enrollment.
About Blackbird Labs
Blackbird Labs is a next-generation life sciences accelerator dedicated to engineering a better future for patients facing unmet medical needs. Blackbird Labs is focused on collaborating with academics and investors to launch world-changing companies and technologies. Blackbird Labs has entered into foundational collaborations with Johns Hopkins University, the University of Maryland, Baltimore, and the Lieber Institute for Brain Development to translate today’s science into tomorrow’s groundbreaking discoveries.
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