RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – North Carolina’s rising profile as a leading cell- and gene-therapy hub will be well recognized Feb. 24 at the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, as LaunchBio’s signature Invest in Cures forum again convenes leaders of major disease foundations and social venture funds.

The in-person event at NCBiotech’s RTP headquarters will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. It combines main-stage sessions and panel discussions with high-level networking. The $40 tickets are in limited supply, and guests must pre-register.

Some 7,000 rare or “orphan” diseases have been identified, many of them genetic. Participants in the Feb. 24 Disease Foundation forum will discuss their research strategies and investment philosophies and share how they are using deep scientific knowledge to accelerate the commercialization of new therapies and potential cures for patients. The discussions explore innovative approaches to advancing treatments for rare diseases, and highlight examples of successful partnerships with local companies – especially those involved in gene and cell therapies.

It will showcase some of the early-stage commercialization activity that North Carolina brings to this large unmet medical need, while bringing together potential investors and collaborators to take this work to the next level.

The event features disease-focused organizations such as:

  • Crohn’s & Colitis
  • CureDuchenne
  • BrightEdge Ventures (American Cancer Society)
  • Dementia Discovery Fund
  • Foundation Fighting Blindness
  • Hatteras Venture Partners
  • JDRF TD1 Fund
  • March of Dimes Innovation Fund
  • Opus Genetics

“This signature event of LaunchBio is designed to highlight the roles that disease foundations and social venture funds play in driving innovation, especially for early stage companies,” said LaunchBio CEO Becky Beattie. “Not only do these investors bring needed capital, they also have deep knowledge of the sector, connections to patient populations, and a mission that is focused on delivering better outcomes. In our fourth year of presenting Invest in Cures, we are excited to bring new and returning foundations and funds to North Carolina for this program.”

A detailed agenda is available on the LaunchBio website.

Vivian Doelling, Ph.D., vice president of emerging company development at NCBiotech, an organizer of the event, said it offers investors an important chance to learn more about North Carolina R&D and early-stage commercialization activities in rare diseases.

LaunchBio is a nonprofit organization that identifies, counsels, and supports high-growth, high-impact life sciences companies, connecting entrepreneurs with knowledge, capital and talent across the nation’s leading life sciences hubs. In addition to its Durham site, LaunchBio offers programs in San Diego, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Dallas, Philadelphia, the Boston suburb of Cambridge, and New York City.