Press Release December 17, 2015

$500K Libra Foundation gift to fund JAX High-Impact Therapies and Technologies initiative

Bar Harbor, Maine – A $500,000 gift from the Libra Foundation of Portland, Maine, to The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) will support technological and therapeutic innovations with exceptional potential to improve health care and biomedical science.

The JAX High-Impact Therapies and Technologies (HITTs) initiative is aimed at launching promising new projects into the next phase of development, speeding the delivery of new therapies to help patients and new technologies to advance biomedical research.

Libra Foundation President Craig N. Denekas comments, “We are particularly interested in the ongoing and demonstrated ability of The Jackson Laboratory to catalyze advanced development in Maine. Efforts by JAX scientists to launch research to the next stage of development and translate ideas to the market represent excellent economic opportunities for our state and beyond.”

“The Foundation's generosity is moving us towards revolutionary new ways of understanding disease,” says JAX President and CEO Edison Liu, M.D. “This initiative will enable us to propel marketable ideas forward in the later stages of research. The resulting new therapies and/or tools will create improved options for patients, increased institutional capacity to accelerate our research and provide new sources of revenue to support both sustained and new economic development in Maine.”

Liu notes that JAX already has several projects that are at a stage where an investment could launch them into the next stage of development. By focusing support on projects ready to make the leap to the clinic or to the market, Liu explains, “the HITTs fund leverages the power of philanthropy to achieve sustainability and maximize impact—on the patient, on science, and on society.”

The Libra Foundation, based in Portland, Maine, was created by Elizabeth Noyce in 1989 and has made significant contributions to worthy causes throughout the State of Maine. Embracing the sense of proportion and fairness defined by its name, Libra, the Foundation maintains a balance and diversity of giving throughout Maine and across all populations.

The Jackson Laboratory is an independent, nonprofit biomedical research institution and National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center. It employs 1,700 staff, and its mission is to discover precise genomic solutions for disease and empower the global biomedical community in the shared quest to improve human health.