DENNIS LIOTTA, PHD
Co-Scientific Founder, Triangle Pharmaceuticals, Inc. /
Professor of Chemistry, Emory University
“Federal funding, along with Emory University institutional support for the tech transfer process, allowed us to carry out critical early stage research in the Emory Departments of Chemistry and Pediatrics, and translate those discoveries into the startup company Triangle. That company became so successful that it was bought by Gilead, which continues to build on the strong foundation we established and is now marketing the most widely used pharmaceuticals for HIV/AIDS in the world. Emory received a tremendous economic benefit from the sale of its future royalties to those drugs, and that money was redirected to additional research. The experience from that research and entrepreneurial process has carried forward to additional tech transfer success, drug development, and training of hundreds of researchers and biotech entrepreneurs in the United States and other countries.”
Dr. Dennis Liotta
Dr. Raymond Schinazi
TSC MEMBER INSTITUTION(S):
National Institutes of Health
Gilead Sciences, Inc.
ABOUT THE COMPANY:
Since the emergence of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, two Emory scientists, Dennis Liotta, PhD and Raymond Schinazi, PhD, have led the fight to develop life-saving drugs to treat its victims. Their HIV laboratory was the first of its kind, and their research was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health. In 1995, Schinazi and Liotta co-founded Triangle Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a faculty startup located in Research Triangle Park, NC. Triangle was a specialty pharmaceutical company developing new antiviral drugs for HIV and the hepatitis B virus. In early 2003, Triangle was acquired by Gilead Sciences, Inc.
Gilead Sciences, Inc. is one of the world’s largest biopharmaceutical companies. Gilead discovers, develops and commercializes innovative medicines in areas of unmet need. Gilead’s primary areas of focus include HIV/AIDS, liver disease, and serious cardiovascular and respiratory conditions. The company currently has a portfolio of 10 products, including a number of category firsts and market leaders. Gilead is a $42 billion public company and has operations on four continents.
UNIVERSITY-BASED RESEARCH CONNECTION:
Three of the 10 products marketed by Gilead (Emtriva®, Truvada® and Atripla®) were invented by Emory scientists. Currently, over 94 percent of HIV patients in the United States on lifesaving antiviral therapy take a drug developed at Emory University.
ROLE OF FEDERAL RESEARCH FUNDING:
The technology development of the three Emory-invented drugs was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health.
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