A collaboration to advance promising therapeutics that will address unsolved medical needs and find cures for disease

About Us

Boston Children’s Hospital, which has the largest National Institutes of Health-funded pediatric research enterprise in the United States, and Deerfield Management Company, a healthcare investment firm, have announced a major research collaboration to advance promising therapeutics that will address unsolved medical needs and find cures for disease. Named in honor of Boston Children’s distinguished late faculty member, Kenneth Blackfan, MD, an early leader in childhood blood disorders and pediatric diseases, Deerfield has created a new entity for this collaboration, Blackfan Circle Innovations.

Deerfield pledged up to $65 million, with the goal of translating more of the work of Boston Children’s biomedical researchers and accelerating innovation for potential commercial biopharmaceutical uses. Funding and operational support will be provided by Deerfield to help support jointly selected research initiatives with the objective of achieving Investigational New Drug (IND) readiness.

Deerfield is a healthcare investment management firm committed to advancing healthcare through investment, information and philanthropy. For more information, please visit www.deerfield.com.

Boston Children’s Hospital is ranked the #1 children’s hospital in the nation by U.S. News & World Report and is the primary pediatric teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. Home to the world’s largest research enterprise based at a pediatric medical center, its discoveries have benefited both children and adults since 1869.

Today, 3,000 researchers and scientific staff, including 9 members of the National Academy of Sciences, 22 members of the National Academy of Medicine, and 12 Howard Hughes Medical Investigators comprise Boston Children’s research community. Founded as a 20-bed hospital for children, Boston Children’s is now a 415-bed comprehensive center for pediatric and adolescent health care.

For more, visit our Discoveries blog and follow us on social media @BostonChildrens, @BCH_Innovation, Facebook and YouTube.

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Joint Steering Committee

Tamar Alon

Tamar Alon, PhD, MBA, has a broad leadership experience in technology and business development of early stage biomedical innovation from research to commercialization in academic and industry settings. Her expertise includes building value via technology development, strategic partnerships, business development, licensing and new ventures. In her current role, she is serving as a Director of Business Development and Strategic Alliances at the Technology Innovation Read More Development Office of Boston Children’s Hospital. She is leading the development and management of novel academic - industry strategic partnerships impacting the translation of innovative research toward novel treatments for the benefit of patients.

She led business development and commercialization strategies as a Chief Business Development Officer at a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company. She also served for six years as a Vice President of Business Development, Therapeutics and Diagnostics at Hadasit Medical Research Services & Development, the technology transfer and commercial arm of the Hadassah Medical Center in Israel, providing leadership and direction to all aspects of innovation development and technology commercialization at the institutional level. She has led basic and translational research programs across therapeutic areas and held various leadership roles in the Biopharma industry including serving as a Director of Innovative Technologies at Teva Pharmaceuticals. Tamar holds a PhD, Summa Cum Laude, in Molecular Biology and an MBA both from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her Nature Medicine paper in the field of Vascular Biology was included in the list of landmark papers from the last 80 years in the field of Angiogenesis by the Nature Journal. She was a HHMI postdoctoral fellow for six years at the Rockefeller University in New York focusing on metabolic research.
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Tamar Alon


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Tamar Alon, PhD, MBA, has a broad leadership experience in technology and business development of early stage biomedical innovation from research to commercialization in academic and industry settings. Her expertise includes building value via technology development, strategic partnerships, business development, licensing and new ventures. In her current role, she is serving as a Director of Business Development and Strategic Alliances at the Technology Innovation Development Office of Boston Children’s Hospital. She is leading the development and management of novel academic - industry strategic partnerships impacting the translation of innovative research toward novel treatments for the benefit of patients.

She led business development and commercialization strategies as a Chief Business Development Officer at a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company. She also served for six years as a Vice President of Business Development, Therapeutics and Diagnostics at Hadasit Medical Research Services & Development, the technology transfer and commercial arm of the Hadassah Medical Center in Israel, providing leadership and direction to all aspects of innovation development and technology commercialization at the institutional level. She has led basic and translational research programs across therapeutic areas and held various leadership roles in the Biopharma industry including serving as a Director of Innovative Technologies at Teva Pharmaceuticals. Tamar holds a PhD, Summa Cum Laude, in Molecular Biology and an MBA both from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her Nature Medicine paper in the field of Vascular Biology was included in the list of landmark papers from the last 80 years in the field of Angiogenesis by the Nature Journal. She was a HHMI postdoctoral fellow for six years at the Rockefeller University in New York focusing on metabolic research.
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Leslie S. Kean

Leslie S. Kean, MD PhD, is a clinician-scientist with extensive laboratory and clinical expertise in transplantation and translational immunology. She is the Director of Pediatric Stem Cell Transplant at Boston Children’s Hospital and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and is the Stranahan Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. She is the Chair of the Pediatric Transplantation and Read More Cellular Therapy Consortium (PTCTC). Dr. Kean’s research program is focused on the immunology of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and immune tolerance in allo- and auto-immune diseases. The overarching goal of her research is to understand mechanisms underlying immune tolerance, with a specific focus on mixed-chimerism induction for solid organ transplantation, graft-versus-host disease (GvHD), transplant rejection, the immunology of GI auto-immune diseases, and the reconstitution of protective immunity after transplantation. Dr. Kean’s work has led to the creation of multiple novel, MHC-defined non-human primate models of both engraftment and GvHD and to several first-in-disease clinical trials.
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Leslie S. Kean


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Leslie S. Kean, MD PhD, is a clinician-scientist with extensive laboratory and clinical expertise in transplantation and translational immunology. She is the Director of Pediatric Stem Cell Transplant at Boston Children’s Hospital and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and is the Stranahan Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. She is the Chair of the Pediatric Transplantation and Cellular Therapy Consortium (PTCTC). Dr. Kean’s research program is focused on the immunology of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation and immune tolerance in allo- and auto-immune diseases. The overarching goal of her research is to understand mechanisms underlying immune tolerance, with a specific focus on mixed-chimerism induction for solid organ transplantation, graft-versus-host disease (GvHD), transplant rejection, the immunology of GI auto-immune diseases, and the reconstitution of protective immunity after transplantation. Dr. Kean’s work has led to the creation of multiple novel, MHC-defined non-human primate models of both engraftment and GvHD and to several first-in-disease clinical trials.
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Joseph A. Majzoub

Joseph A. Majzoub attended the University of Michigan Honors College and Stanford University School of Medicine. These were followed by internship, residency, and chief residency at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, and a postdoctoral fellowship in endocrinology at the Massachusetts General Hospital and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Majzoub Read More joined the Division of Endocrinology at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in 1981, where he remained until moving to Boston Children’s Hospital in 1989 as Chief of the Division of Endocrinology, a position he held for over 29 years until stepping down in 2018 to become the Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Pediatrics. Dr. Majzoub is the Thomas Morgan Rotch Professor of Pediatrics and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Majzoub’s research concerns how stress influences health and disease, with a particular interest in diseases of the adrenal axis and obesity. He is the scientific founder of three biotech companies focused in molecular diagnostic, therapeutic, and genetic engineering domains. Dr. Majzoub is a mentor to many medical students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty throughout the United States, and has received several teaching and mentoring awards from Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School and the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences Technology Program.
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Joseph A. Majzoub


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Joseph A. Majzoub attended the University of Michigan Honors College and Stanford University School of Medicine. These were followed by internship, residency, and chief residency at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, and a postdoctoral fellowship in endocrinology at the Massachusetts General Hospital and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Majzoub joined the Division of Endocrinology at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in 1981, where he remained until moving to Boston Children’s Hospital in 1989 as Chief of the Division of Endocrinology, a position he held for over 29 years until stepping down in 2018 to become the Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Pediatrics. Dr. Majzoub is the Thomas Morgan Rotch Professor of Pediatrics and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Majzoub’s research concerns how stress influences health and disease, with a particular interest in diseases of the adrenal axis and obesity. He is the scientific founder of three biotech companies focused in molecular diagnostic, therapeutic, and genetic engineering domains. Dr. Majzoub is a mentor to many medical students, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty throughout the United States, and has received several teaching and mentoring awards from Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School and the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences Technology Program.
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David Greenwald

David Greenwald, Ph.D., is Vice President, Business Development and joined the Firm in 2018. He is responsible for supporting portfolio companies with their business development efforts, as well as working with the Investment Team to help source and facilitate potential opportunities. Most recently, he was Director of Business Development at Johns Hopkins Read More Technology Ventures. Dr. Greenwald is a founder of Relay Technology Management, Inc. and co-inventor of the Relay Innovation Engine software, and previously he was Chief Executive Officer of Relay Technology Management and Director of Client Solutions for Decision Resources Group after its acquisition of Relay. He was an Associate Investigator at the Naval Medical Research Center in Silver Spring, MD, where he worked with the Food and Drug Administration on 510(k) applications for diagnostic devices for dengue fever. Dr. Greenwald was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute research fellow while earning a B.S. in Cellular Biology and Molecular Genetics from the University of Maryland, College Park, and eventually earned his Ph.D. from Tufts University School of Medicine.
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David Greenwald


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David Greenwald, Ph.D., is Vice President, Business Development and joined the Firm in 2018. He is responsible for supporting portfolio companies with their business development efforts, as well as working with the Investment Team to help source and facilitate potential opportunities. Most recently, he was Director of Business Development at Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures. Dr. Greenwald is a founder of Relay Technology Management, Inc. and co-inventor of the Relay Innovation Engine software, and previously he was Chief Executive Officer of Relay Technology Management and Director of Client Solutions for Decision Resources Group after its acquisition of Relay. He was an Associate Investigator at the Naval Medical Research Center in Silver Spring, MD, where he worked with the Food and Drug Administration on 510(k) applications for diagnostic devices for dengue fever. Dr. Greenwald was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute research fellow while earning a B.S. in Cellular Biology and Molecular Genetics from the University of Maryland, College Park, and eventually earned his Ph.D. from Tufts University School of Medicine.
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Joseph Pearlberg

Joseph Pearlberg, M.D., Ph.D., is the Vice President of Scientific Affairs on the Biotherapeutics group at Deerfield and joined the Firm in 2017. Prior to Deerfield, Dr. Pearlberg was the Vice President of Clinical Development at Infinity Pharmaceuticals. Before Infinity Pharmaceuticals, Dr. Pearlberg worked as a Medical Director in the oncology unit of Sanofi. Read More Dr. Pearlberg received his M.D. at the University of California, San Francisco, and completed his clinical training at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Dana Farber Cancer Institute. He earned his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from Harvard University and was a Lecturer in the Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Harvard Medical School. He holds a B.A. in Biochemistry from the University of Pennsylvania.
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Joseph Pearlberg


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Joseph Pearlberg, M.D., Ph.D., is the Vice President of Scientific Affairs on the Biotherapeutics group at Deerfield and joined the Firm in 2017. Prior to Deerfield, Dr. Pearlberg was the Vice President of Clinical Development at Infinity Pharmaceuticals. Before Infinity Pharmaceuticals, Dr. Pearlberg worked as a Medical Director in the oncology unit of Sanofi. Dr. Pearlberg received his M.D. at the University of California, San Francisco, and completed his clinical training at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Dana Farber Cancer Institute. He earned his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from Harvard University and was a Lecturer in the Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Harvard Medical School. He holds a B.A. in Biochemistry from the University of Pennsylvania.
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Michael Foley

Michael Foley, Ph.D., is Chief Executive Officer for Deerfield Discovery and Development, and Vice President of Translational Drug Development at Deerfield. Dr. Foley joined Deerfield in 2018 to focus on academic collaborations. Most recently, he was the CEO and Sanders Director at Tri-Institutional Therapeutics Discovery Institute (Tri-I TDI) where he led the Read More efforts to discover drug candidates in an academic setting. Prior to Tri-I TDI, he was Director of the Chemical Biology Platform at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. Dr. Foley is the founder and a director of Forma Therapeutics. In 2001, he founded Infinity Pharmaceuticals and in 2000, he founded CombinatoRx. In 1999, he was a founding member of the Harvard Institute of Chemistry and Cell Biology and served as the head of Chemical Technology. He was a GlaxoSmithKline Fellow at Harvard University and previously a Research Chemist at GlaxoSmithKline. Dr. Foley began his career at Bristol-Myers Squibb as a Research Chemist. He received his B.S. from St. Norbert College, his M.S. from Utah State University and his Ph.D. from Harvard University.
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Michael Foley


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Michael Foley, Ph.D., is Chief Executive Officer for Deerfield Discovery and Development, and Vice President of Translational Drug Development at Deerfield. Dr. Foley joined Deerfield in 2018 to focus on academic collaborations. Most recently, he was the CEO and Sanders Director at Tri-Institutional Therapeutics Discovery Institute (Tri-I TDI) where he led the efforts to discover drug candidates in an academic setting. Prior to Tri-I TDI, he was Director of the Chemical Biology Platform at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. Dr. Foley is the founder and a director of Forma Therapeutics. In 2001, he founded Infinity Pharmaceuticals and in 2000, he founded CombinatoRx. In 1999, he was a founding member of the Harvard Institute of Chemistry and Cell Biology and served as the head of Chemical Technology. He was a GlaxoSmithKline Fellow at Harvard University and previously a Research Chemist at GlaxoSmithKline. Dr. Foley began his career at Bristol-Myers Squibb as a Research Chemist. He received his B.S. from St. Norbert College, his M.S. from Utah State University and his Ph.D. from Harvard University.
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News & Events

Boston Children’s Hospital and Deerfield Join Forces to Accelerate the Development of Novel Therapies to Patients

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Q&A panel on Tuesday, 2/9 at 3:00 PM
 

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