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Return on Investment to Accelerate Research Growth

The George Washington University (GW) has sold a portion of its royalty rights for a drug originally developed at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS), officials announced in August 2019. The move allows GW to reinvest significant funds into strategic priorities in academics, research, and innovation, accelerating its growth as a preeminent research university.

The first and only FDA-approved drug of its kind, GIAPREZA™ is used to increase dangerously low blood pressure in life-threatening situations and has the potential to benefit hundreds of thousands of patients each year in the United States.

“This is an extraordinary example of GW research and innovation at its best,” said GW President Thomas LeBlanc. “A treatment developed here will improve clinical care and save lives, while at the same time provide resources for our university to reinvest in research for the next big discovery. Our impact on society will only continue to grow.”

The development of GIAPREZA™ began several years ago. With funding from the university, a team at SMHS conducted a clinical trial at GW testing the effectiveness of a peptide hormone, angiotensin II, on blood pressure.

In 2014, the university entered into a license agreement with La Jolla Pharmaceutical Company for GW’s intellectual property rights, allowing the company to complete the FDA approval process and bring the drug to market. The FDA approved GIAPREZA™ in 2017.

The university and faculty, through GW’s Technology Commercialization Office (TCO), often work together to bring research to market.

TCO helps researchers secure intellectual property licenses, patents and technology commercialization partnerships, among other assistance. Over the past five years, patents filed on GW inventions have doubled, GW-licensed startups secured more than $200 million in outside funding, and licensing income to GW has increased dramatically.