Daily Briefs

U of Michigan, Deerfield partner on drug discovery projects

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — The University of Michigan is partnering with Deerfield Management health care investment firm to create a company to commercialize drug discovery projects.

The launch of Great Lakes Discoveries was announced Wednesday.

Deerfield will deliver development expertise and is committing up to $130 million over the next decade to invest in biomedical research at the school with the aim of developing potentially life-saving drugs and disease treatments.

Great Lakes Discoveries will support all preclinical stages of drug discovery and development of selected projects.

“... at any research institution, the most commercially promising innovations eventually outgrow the lab, requiring greater resources and more focused development expertise than an academic setting can typically provide,” said William Slattery, Deerfield partner.

University researchers will be able to submit proposals starting this fall. Proposals will be reviewed by a Great Lakes Discoveries committee. Selected projects will receive funding and operational support by Deerfield for a development plan.

Great Lakes, in exchange for funding, would receive an option to license intellectual property developed at the university.

The University of Michigan’s academic therapeutic pipeline has 14 drug candidates in various stages of clinical trials, said Kelly Sexton, the school’s associate vice president for research-technology transfer and innovation partnerships.

Sexton’s office will oversee the partnership with Deerfield.


Kilpatrick won’t be leaving prison early

DETROIT (AP) — Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who has served seven years of a 28-year sentence for corruption, has been turned down for home confinement during the coronavirus pandemic and won’t be leaving prison early, the government said Tuesday.

The U.S. Bureau of Prisons said it “reviewed and denied” Kilpatrick for the early release program. He remains at the federal prison in Oakdale, Louisiana.

The brief statement came four days after a Detroit-area pastor and the Ebony Foundation announced that Kilpatrick would be leaving Oakdale, which has been hit hard by the coronavirus and COVID-19.

The Rev. Keyon Payton said Kilpatrick was being quarantined ahead of a June release to his mother’s home in Atlanta. He said foundation representatives and allies of the former mayor had been in “constant communication” with the Trump administration.

State Rep. Karen Whitsett, a Detroit Democrat, said President Trump told her last week that Kilpatrick would be released.

Since the pandemic began, the Bureau of Prisons is supposed to give priority to inmates who have served a much larger share of their sentence than Kilpatrick.

Kilpatrick, 49, has served only a quarter. With good time credits, he’s listed for release in 2037.

In 2013, Kilpatrick was convicted of racketeering conspiracy, fraud, extortion and tax crimes.

Kilpatrick’s lawyers had asked for a 15-year sentence. But U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds agreed with prosecutors and ordered an extraordinary 28-year term.


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