New JAMA Dermatology Publication Features AID Accelerator Fund to Enable Progress of Promising Early-stage Scientific Technologies

April 10, 2018

A new article, "Catalyzing Future Drug, Device, and Information Technology Breakthroughs in Dermatology", in JAMA Dermatology features the Advancing Innovation in Dermatology (AID) Accelerator Fund. AID has created this mechanism to help enable and speed the product development of important scientific discoveries and new early-stage technologies with the potential to significantly improve skin health. The fund will facilitate collaborative partnerships by engaging individuals, including scientists and inventors, as well as organizations such as research institutions, university spinouts and other start-up companies. This vehicle will offer seed funding, in-kind business support, and access to and advocacy within an ecosystem of dermatologic product innovation.

"Transformative biomedical innovation is difficult. For patients suffering from dermatological conditions, we all need to come together to accelerate new breakthroughs. This means academic institutions, industry, investors, legal professionals, patient organizations, and other stakeholders coalescing around a shared mission,” said Steve Xu, M.D., Instructor in the Department of Dermatology, Medical Director of the Center for Bio-Integrated Electronics at Northwestern University and Founding Chair of AID's Education Committee. “We hope that the AID Accelerator Fund will spark the translation of the best advancements in science, engineering, and other sources into new treatments for our patients.”

Designed to bridge the gap between institutional research funding and traditional venture capital, the AID Accelerator Fund has two components: 1) intellectual property and advisory support services to develop and advance an invention and 2) early financial support. Awardees will be determined by the AID Accelerator Fund’s Steering Committee, which will consider projects that have direct relevance to unmet needs in dermatology and demonstrate significant likelihood of success.

“The intellectual property issues faced by early-stage companies with innovative therapies can be quite challenging,” said Raymond A. Miller, a partner and member of the Leadership Team of Pepper Hamilton LLP’s Health Sciences Department. “Access to business, legal and medical professionals with decades of experience in dermatology instantly adds value to any endeavor. Combining relevant dermatology experience with an early-stage funding mechanism provides a fertile ground for innovation to flourish. As a leading law firm advising life sciences and health care companies, Pepper Hamilton remains committed to helping AID bridge the gap between research and commercialization.”

“We are seeking early-stage research and development projects that are not yet at the venture funding stage,” explained Michael Sierra, Ph.D., Vice President LEO Science and Tech Hub. “By utilizing a collaborative approach to further a discovery’s potential, our goal with the AID Accelerator Fund is to bring more dermatologic breakthroughs to light that may ultimately impact patients’ lives and benefit society.”

To learn more about the AID Accelerator Fund, visit or contact AID at

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