Return on Innovation: A New Kind of ROI

The Innovation Ventures team within the Cincinnati Children’s Research Foundation concentrates on accelerating discoveries; in particular, those with the greatest potential to become products that improve and save lives.

In 2018, Innovation Ventures launched a new model to focus on collaborations with industry, venture capital, foundations, and government sponsored programs.

Collaborations ensure that scientific and technical innovations developed in our laboratories and clinical settings will achieve maximum value and impact, not only at Cincinnati Children’s, but around the world. The intellectual and capital resources contributed via these collaborations are investments necessary to bring innovations to healthcare systems and markets, which enable those innovations to reach patients on a wide scale.

Innovation Ventures works with its collaborators to achieve a triple return to Cincinnati Children’s: return on mission, return on community and return on institutional investment. Collectively, the operating principle for this triple aim is a new kind of ROI, or return on innovation.

Since the launch of the new collaborative model, Innovation Ventures has enjoyed success on this triple aim by completing several licensing transactions and opening two new start-up companies in Cincinnati.

Launched by Cincinnati Children’s with Roivant Sciences, the joint venture opened an office in Cincinnati in 2019. Aruvant focuses on developing gene therapies for sickle cell disease and beta thalassemia; their lead technology was developed from discoveries in the laboratory of Punam Malik, MD. The initial research was funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Gene Therapy Resource Program, the NIH Center for Accelerated Innovations at Cleveland Clinic (NCAI), the Doris Duke Foundation Innovations in Clinical Research Award, and the Cincinnati Children’s Innovation Fund.

Hive Networks
Established in 2019, Hive Networks is a Cincinnati Children’s start-up based in Cincinnati with a team of 10. Hive Networks enables the spread and scale of “learning health networks,” which allow patients, clinicians, researchers and health system leaders to work together to drive better outcomes and lower costs. The technology software platform and learning health network model was pioneered at our James M. Anderson Center for Health Systems Excellence. Funding for the early development of the platform came from the Cincinnati Children’s Innovation Fund.

More 2019 Highlights

Baergic Bio
A Fortress Biotech partner company, entered into a licensing agreement with Cincinnati Children’s for the application of an investigational drug for central nervous system disorders. Craig Erickson, MD, first evaluated a drug compound essentially abandoned by AstraZeneca and repurposed it in a clinical trial in adults with Fragile X. Support for Erickson’s original project came from the State of Ohio, the FRAXA Research Foundation, and the Cincinnati Children’s Innovation Fund.

Licensed a digits-in-noise test to detect hearing loss that was first developed and validated by David R. Moore, PhD. Their product hearScreen features a user-friendly design, automated test protocols and quality control features that allow laypersons to conduct quick, accurate, and free screenings on a smartphone. The initial research was supported by the National Institutes of Health and Cincinnati Children’s Research Foundation.

A start-up in Cincinnati backed by CincyTech, entered an exclusive license with Cincinnati Children’s to obtain a digital health technology developed by Gregory Myer, PhD, and his research team in the Division of Sports Medicine, in collaboration with researchers from the University of Cincinnati. aNMT (Augmented Neuromuscular Train-ing) will be integrated with IncludeHealth’s cloud platform and data analytics and will aim to treat and prevent new or recurring musculoskeletal injuries. Funding for the early development of this technology came from the National Institutes of Health, the State of Ohio and the Cincinnati Children’s Innovation Fund.

Pear Therapeutics
This company licensed MigraineManager, a comprehensive self-management tool for adolescents with migraine, parents, and clinicians. MigraineManager incorporates migraine-specific and general evidence-based assessment and intervention components to promote consistent engagement in healthy behaviors. The early research by Kevin Hommel, PhD, was funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

Licensed Nephrotoxic Injury Negated by Just-in-time Action (NINJA), a quality improvement solution that enables real-time identification and monitoring of patients at risk for acute kidney injury due to exposure to nephrotoxic drugs. Stuart Goldstein, MD, is the primary researcher on NINJA. NINJA was supported by a variety of partners, including the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and Casey Lee Ball Foundation.

An image of a researcher with a pipette.

Support Services

Learn more about all of the research support services available to investigators at Cincinnati Children's.

View All Support Services