A Year in Biomedical Commercialization at the University of Michigan

2023 Annual Report

Fast Forward Medical Innovation

Dear Colleagues,

2023 was another productive year for Fast Forward Medical Innovation (FFMI). Biomedical innovation continued to thrive at the University of Michigan, and FFMI played a big role in that success by offering education, business development, and funding resources to help U-M researchers navigate the road to successful innovation and commercialization. We invite you to browse the 2023 FFMI Annual Report.

FFMI is built on a reputable, proven base of knowledge, experience, and demonstrated results. Our Business Development team showcases this through their unparalleled expertise in building industry relationships and guiding researchers step-by-step through the business process.

The Michigan Biomedical Venture Fund (MBVF), a collaborative effort between FFMI and the U-M College of Engineering’s Center for Entrepreneurship, continues to contribute to the broader U-M startup ecosystem and see strong and steady progress in building a successful portfolio.

Positive results equal success, and that is clear in the growth and accomplishments of the FFMI Commercialization Education programs. The team is focused on building and strengthening our existing programs and introducing new, one-of-a-kind offerings, including the Rogel Cancer Center Innovation Program. This new initiative will help faculty, clinicians, and research scientists develop novel therapeutics and successfully communicate the value of their research to secure commercialization resources.

FFMI strives to create a culture that nurtures technologies and supports life science innovation, commercialization, and entrepreneurship. In 2024, we look forward to continue pushing the boundaries of biomedical innovation at the University of Michigan.

Best Regards,

Business Development

Fiscal Year 2023 metrics reflect activity across the U-M Medical School

249 Invention Reports
$155.4M in industry research awards
11 new business startups
201 license/option agreements
1,051 industry awards
"Emilija Mitrikeska, from the FFMI Business Development team, played a pivotal role in supporting projects with Roche Development and Datar Cancer Genetic, demonstrating instrumental contributions from the initial discussions through the entire process of project development. Her involvement extended to building a study team and negotiating the budget. By actively participating in each stage, she ensured seamless collaboration and effective communication, contributing significantly to the project's successful initiation. Emilija’s dedication to facilitating smooth operations and managing negotiations underscores her commitment to achievement of collective goals and success."
Participant in Business Development

Commercialization Education

165 U-M Medical School faculty, staff, and trainees participated in education programs in 2023
29 new innovations from U-M Medical School project teams in 2023
$46M+ follow-on funding awarded, to date, for teams that have gone through an FFMI education program
113 Commercialization Education programs, to date, serving biomedical innovators at the the University of Michigan, and across the state, region, and nation
11 publications, to date, describing best practices for Commercialization Education programs
34 institutions across the state, region, and nation (outside of the University of Michigan) have participated in FFMI fastPACE, to date
"As a junior faculty, my experience with FFMI and the Frankel Cardiovascular Center Innovation Program has been instrumental in jumpstarting my research program. Funding I received through the FCVC Innovation Challenge was key to procure the data I need to begin building impactful prototypes. Advice from FFMI faculty and staff has been invaluable, and they continue to invest in me as a physician-scientist keen to bring cutting edge science to the bedside through industry partnership and commercialization."

Michigan Biomedical Venture Fund

16 startups funded since launch (1 exited)
28 investments since launch
$35+ raised for every $1 of Michigan Biomedical Venture Fund funding
200+ jobs created
$364M combined valuation of portfolio companies
$180M+ in funding raised for all companies combined
7 new medical/biomedical products and 2 drugs in human trials developed by MBVF-funded U-M startups
“As the lead institutional investor for Courage’s first round, MBVF was integral to establishing the company. The MBVF team and board has been an asset to the company for strategic feedback and introductions. [Courage] has resulted in a lot of really compelling science that I would have been unable to do just in my own lab.”

New Year, New Opportunities

“Fast Forward Medical Innovation is a critical piece of the innovation network that serves the Michigan Medicine research enterprise. This unique and groundbreaking program was an integral part of our success in 2023. I look forward to another outstanding year of FFMI’s cutting-edge ideas and initiatives, and their impact on the future of biomedical innovation at the U-M and beyond.”