Stanford University and The Invus Group collaborate to develop glioblastoma drugs

The collaboration will enable the development of medications to treat a type of brain cancer.

The collaboration between Stanford University and The Invus Group will enable the development of medication to treat glioblastoma, a form of brain cancer.
Anna Durinikova/

Stanford University and The Invus Group, an investment firm, have formed a collaboration to develop treatments for glioblastoma, a type of brain cancer.

Invus is funding two projects at the Stanford Innovative Medicines Accelerator (IMA), both to develop a small-molecule or protein drug prototype that treats the disease. The prototypes are expected to be further developed through the formation of one or two new companies.

Glioblastoma accounts for nearly half of all brain tumors, and little effective treatment is currently available. The National Brain Tumor Society estimates that more than 13,000 U.S. residents will be diagnosed with glioblastoma this year; the average survival after diagnosis is only eight months.

“The IMA has the capacity to build high-quality drug prototypes based on groundbreaking scientific discoveries at Stanford,” said Raymond Debbane, president and CEO of The Invus Group. “We are excited to work with the IMA to provide a much-needed treatment for this terrible disease.”

“The Stanford and Invus collaboration, formed with the goal of producing two medications to treat a devastating brain cancer, helps close the gap between scientific research and clinical care,” said Lloyd Minor, MD, dean of the Stanford School of Medicine. “Our work together will ensure that Stanford Medicine’s biomedical research will lead to effective treatments for patients.”

Under the guidance of a joint steering committee consisting of representatives from both Invus and Stanford, the IMA will manage both research projects during the initial term of the collaboration, expected to span over 18 months. Upon achievement of agreed-upon milestones for each project, Invus will have the right to exercise an exclusive option to the intellectual property generated via the collaboration on behalf of a new company that Invus expects to launch.

“This collaboration is a testament not only to the innovation and scientific rigor of the members of the Stanford community, but also to the vision and leadership of Invus,” said Chaitan Khosla, PhD, the IMA director and a professor of chemistry and of chemical engineering at Stanford University. “I am grateful that they share our excitement and optimism about translating more Stanford discoveries into transformative therapies that these patients need.”

“Stanford has built at the IMA a powerful platform to turn the great innovation coming out of the university into drug programs and tangible patients benefits. We are very excited about this partnership and hope to have more opportunities to work together in the future,” said Khalil Barrage, managing director and head of Invus Public Equities.


Stanford University is a place of discovery, creativity, innovation and world-class medical care. Dedicated to its founding mission of benefitting society through research and education, Stanford strives to create a sustainable future for all, catalyze discoveries about ourselves and our world, accelerate the societal impact of its research, and educate students as global citizens. The university is located in the San Francisco Bay Area on the ancestral land of the Muwekma Ohlone Tribe and first welcomed students in 1891. Its main campus holds seven schools along with interdisciplinary research and policy institutes, athletics, and the arts. More than 7,000 undergraduate and 9,000 graduate students pursue studies at Stanford each year. Learn more at


Invus is a global equity investment firm with over $10 billion of evergreen capital under management, operating out of offices in the US, Europe and Asia. Since its founding in 1985, Invus has focused on empowering entrepreneurs to transform their industries. Invus has been an active long-term investor in both the private and the public biotech sectors since 2003.

About Stanford Medicine

Stanford Medicine is an integrated academic health system comprising the Stanford School of Medicine and adult and pediatric health care delivery systems. Together, they harness the full potential of biomedicine through collaborative research, education and clinical care for patients. For more information, please visit

2024 ISSUE 1

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