Secure, Stable Funding
Fundamental to Biomed Valley Discoveries’ (BVD) pursuit of groundbreaking medicines to address significant unmet needs is our unique funding model conceived by our founders, Jim and Virginia Stowers.
A new approach to
and drug R&D
Jim and Virginia Stowers believed that undertaking scientific research and advancing medicines for complex diseases requires a radically new approach to both funding and execution. To transform this belief into a reality, they established and directed much of their wealth toward establishing the Stowers Group of Companies, which includes the non-profit Stowers Institute for Medical Research (Stowers Institute), focused on biomedical research, and the for-profit BVD, focused on drug research and development. BVD is wholly owned by a supporting organization of Stowers Institute.
How the funding
The Stowers Group of Companies, including Stowers Institute and BVD, receives stable and sustainable resources through private institutional funding via American Century Investments (ACI), an asset management firm founded by Jim Stowers. Over 40% of annual profits from ACI are directed to Stowers Institute and BVD. To date, Stowers Institute has received more than $1.8 billion in dividend income to invest in medical research, and BVD has received a portion of this dividend income to invest in drug R&D.
Fueling a perpetual
cycle of innovation
The Stowers believed that BVD’s focus on hope for life would lead to hope for patients and, ultimately, to financial reward that, in turn, would be reinvested.
Our founders’ original directive that any BVD profits would accrue to Stowers Institute’s benefit promotes a perpetual, virtuous cycle of scientific innovation and translation to advance breakthrough medicines.
Enabling a reimagined
Because of this innovative funding model, BVD operates free from the need to fundraise and consider short-term investor interests. This, in turn, has empowered us to create a purposefully reimagined approach to every aspect of our business, our pursuit of groundbreaking medicines, and our commitment to bring hope for life to patients.
Our founders envisioned that BVD would operate as a well-funded, independent, lean yet highly efficient and high-capacity organization, and we work diligently to deliver on that vision. Based in Kansas City, we minimize infrastructure and overhead, operating primarily as a remote team while leveraging a large external network. We are able to deploy resources in a stage-appropriate, prioritized and real-time manner to meet the scientific needs of each program.
We’ve proven that our small yet highly functional, cohesive, and capable team – supported by our strong network of external collaborators – can effectively execute early-stage development across preclinical, phase 1 and phase 2 clinical efforts.
Risk-Tolerant Candidate Sourcing
Across the biopharma industry, countless preclinical stage and clinical stage drugs remain shelved, not because they lack clinical potential, but because companies lack sufficient runway to advance them and/or view pursuing a program as too high risk, leading to difficult resource prioritization decisions.
Our stable, secure funding frees us from these constraints. At BVD, we are empowered to pursue early development assets that are often higher risk but high reward opportunity for patients that may not fit within the investment profile of traditional industry or investor firms. We’re always on the lookout for exciting new candidates that may fit into our model and overall approach to program development. We have the flexibility to pursue candidates that are either independent of or related to research being pursued by the Stowers Institute for Medical Research.
To us, the most critical factors in deciding to take on a program are whether an asset has the potential to deliver on our founders’ intent of hope for life and whether we can readily deploy our team’s skill set and our network to advance its early development.
Our focus and expertise as an R&D organization lies in early-stage development through clinical proof-of-concept, supported by an extensive network of physician research collaborators and centers of excellence in cancer research. We work with agility, creativity, and urgency to quickly answer scientific questions, which, in turn, informs our subsequent development steps and partnering opportunities.
We deploy a myriad of clinical activities – BVD-sponsored and investigator-initiated trials (IITs), and compassionate use and expanded access programs – to seek early signals and stay focused on the unmet patient need.
Deep, data-led scientific interrogation
We bring a deep level of scientific rigor to de-risking programs, working diligently to deliver focused data that supports whether a program or direction shows promise to address the target unmet need. We ensure that our programs are fully interrogated in a stage-appropriate manner, allowing data to lead over assumptions.
Leveraging the benefits of investigator-initiated trials (IITs)
Our extensive clinical research network enables us to leverage several key benefits of IITs to complement our company-sponsored trials. IITs are a core component of our research and development strategy and efforts.
Key benefits of IITs
Enable us to closely address the true unmet need of patients, as identified by treating physicians
Ideal for advancing early signal-finding for our programs
Remain rich in data generation and the exploration of fundamental biology questions
Partnering & Out-Licensing
We are structured to take assets through early development to proof-of-concept. While we have the flexibility to advance niche/orphan disease programs through registration, our model is primarily centered around partnering and out-licensing our programs beyond this point.
Out-licensing candidates to reach more patients
Once we have de-risked a candidate in early development and delivered compelling data that supports its therapeutic viability, we seek to identify a partner with an infrastructure and expertise more suited for the next stage of development and potential commercialization to carry the asset forward. This out-licensing approach is deliberately designed to ensure that our assets are best positioned to reach the broadest range of potential indications and patients as possible. It also enables us to focus our efforts on earlier-stage development activities on current and new assets, per our organization’s focus and expertise.
A prospective partner or out licensee could be any organization with a vested interest in advancing a de-risked asset for a serious unmet medical need, from large or mid-size biopharmaceutical companies to venture capital firms.
Long-term focus enables creative, flexible deal structures
Our long-term focus on eventual patient impact gives us flexibility in the structure of deals and creative approaches toward risk-sharing, both of which offer significant value to potential partners to shape a collaboration.