Columbia University

Technology Ventures

Call for Proposals: Allied-Bristol Life Sciences

December 01, 2016

CATALYST is an exciting new program launched by Allied-Bristol Life Sciences (ABLS), a joint venture of global pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb and venture builder Allied Minds, to identify and develop commercially-promising biopharmaceutical innovations from leading universities and research institutions. Launched in 2014, ABLS provides world-class expertise in drug development, access to a fully integrated drug discovery and development center (with medicinal chemistry, biological assays, animal models, pharmacology, toxicology capabilities, etc.) as well as seasoned management and the necessary financial backing to bring transformational academic discoveries to patients.

Download the application here, and submit your proposal to when complete.


Through CATALYST, ABLS aims to:

  • Identify therapeutic opportunities with strong translational potential and that are aligned with ABLS’s strategic areas of interest.
  • License and develop lead compounds, investing ~$12M to $16M per program to undertake pre-clinical development and position the program for further clinical development and commercialization by BMS.
  • Strengthen relationships with leading academic institutions.


The Principal Investigator of a CATALYST proposal must be available to collaborate with ABLS in the translation of their discovery.

Disclosure and Confidentiality

The information contained in your proposal is NOT deemed confidential unless your institution has entered into a Confidentiality Agreement with ABLS that covers the subject matter of your proposal. Please consult with your technology transfer office for guidance on disclosure of confidential information.

Selection Criteria and Process

  • Successful proposals will have elucidated novel and differentiated mechanisms, supported by strong scientific validation, underlying disease states of strategic interest (see below). Priority will be given to those projects where initial lead molecules have already been identified and possess the potential to deliver first-in class drug candidates.
  • Proposals are accepted on a rolling basis. Proposals submitted by the 1st of each month are reviewed on or before the 28th of the same month. PIs of selected proposals will be invited to present their projects to the CATALYST Steering Committee. If your project is selected, we will work efficiently with you to finalize the research plan, budget, and necessary agreements.

Strategic Areas of Interest*


  • Focus on approaches that are direct acting on the immune system •Immune checkpoint inhibitors and co-stimulatory agents
  • Tumor intrinsic targets with demonstrated impact on anti-tumor immunity
  • Tumor microenvironment Oncology
  • Agents displaying synergy with immune checkpoint inhibitors
  • Established non-immunosuppressive mechanisms of action
  • New approaches to validated cancer pathways
  • Emerging areas of cancer biology
  • Antibody drug conjugates - novel targets and late preclinical / clinical-stage programs in areas of unmet medical need
  • Out of Scope: Supportive care


  • Assets with transformative potential in IBD, Inflammatory Arthritis, SLE/lupus nephritis and other autoimmune disease with high unmet needs.
  • Out of Scope: Allergy and Asthma


  • Heart failure: acute, post-acute, HFrEF, HFpEF, cardiomyopathy
  • Highly validated targets addressing CV risk with clear specialty medicine development paths
  • Out of Scope: LDL lowering, HDL raising

Genetically-Defined Diseases

  • Focus on monogenic diseases
  • Clinical-stage opportunities in rare/orphan diseases targeting at or near mutant protein
  • Special interest in clinical and preclinical opportunities targeting Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, Synuclein, Nav1.7, and Familial Cardiomyopathy (fCM – hypertrophic or dilated)


  • Mechanisms that specifically block myofibroblast activation/differentiation and profibrotic macrophage activation
  • Targeted approaches to inhibition of TGF-b and other developmental pathways
  • Approaches and mechanisms that target matrix re-modeling, epithelial cell protection and repair
  • New anti-fibrotic mechanisms with data supporting target validation and some safety understanding • Non-invasive diagnostics and biomarkers
  • Priority fibrotic diseases include: NASH, Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, Systemic Sclerosis, IgA Nephropathy
  • Out of Scope: Eye fibrosis, wound healing, keloids, uterine (endometriosis)

*Strategic areas of interest are subject to change.

Download the application here, and submit your proposal to when complete.