SRI International to open clinical trial facility in Plymouth, Michigan's first Center of Innovation

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation today announced that SRI International, a nonprofit research and development institute, will establish a Phase 1 clinical trial facility at the Michigan Life Science and Innovation Center in Plymouth.

LANSING – The Michigan Economic Development Corporation today announced that SRI International, a nonprofit research and development institute, will establish a Phase 1 clinical trial facility at the Michigan Life Science and Innovation Center in Plymouth. 

“Having a world-leading organization such as SRI International choose to locate in Michigan is a great win for us and a testament to our talented workforce, the strength of our universities, and the competitiveness of Michigan as a research and development hotbed,” Governor Rick Snyder said. “SRI’s expanded presence here will further accelerate the growth of innovative biotech startups, and ultimately create more jobs in Michigan.” 

The Michigan Strategic Fund today approved the Center of Innovation designation and $5 million in initial funding for the Biosciences Division of SRI to open a clinical trial facility. SRI’s new facility will address unmet medical needs by providing clinical services that are seamlessly integrated with SRI’s biomarker initiatives and strong preclinical research, discovery and development capabilities. 

SRI’s deep expertise in multidisciplinary biosciences will offer early stage clinical trial services to government and industry clients and partners, particularly small biotech companies without access to these vital capabilities. SRI will also provide strategic guidance to accelerate SRI innovations and those of biotech companies, universities and hospitals toward commercialization. Though the SRI facility will focus on services that will help others advance product candidates, the MSF will receive a portion of royalties and equity if new SRI technologies originate predominantly from the facility. 

“Michigan’s disciplined approach to business growth, combined with its talented workforce and strong health sector, make it a terrific location for SRI to establish a Phase 1 clinical unit,” said Walter H. Moos, Ph.D., vice president, SRI Biosciences. “We are grateful for the support of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the enthusiastic welcome that SRI has already received in Michigan.” 

The clinical facility will expand SRI’s presence in Michigan. SRI has an engineering and advanced radar facility in Ann Arbor. 

“Now we will focus on meeting important customer and market needs for clinical capabilities and strategic guidance that will carry programs from the idea stage into the clinic,” said David Sahner, M.D., senior director of Clinical Translation, SRI Biosciences, and leader of the new facility. Dr. Sahner has experience in adaptive clinical trial design, clinical care, and drug research across several therapeutic areas, including infectious diseases and immunology, vaccines, and oncology. 

SRI will also work closely on research and training opportunities with universities and hospitals in Michigan. SRI anticipates that the first collaborative program will be with the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine. 

“The Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine and Beaumont Health System are delighted to have partnered with the MEDC to help attract SRI International to Michigan,” said Robert Folberg, M.D., founding dean of the medical school. “A collaboration between SRI and our School of Medicine will help grow our translational research program with an emphasis on science to benefit the public good.” 

The mission of SRI International, which was founded in 1946 as Stanford Research Institute, is discovery and the application of science and technology for knowledge, commerce, prosperity and peace. SRI conducts R&D funded by government, industry, foundations, and other organizations. SRI also brings its innovations to the marketplace by licensing its intellectual property and creating new ventures. SRI has a legacy of important work in the biosciences that includes research for several government agencies, including the National Institutes of Health. SRI Biosciences has decades of experience and the resources needed to advance promising pharmaceuticals through R&D. SRI drugs on the market include multiple treatments for cancer and infectious diseases. 

“SRI has a long history of delivering far-reaching technologies that change the lives of people globally,” said MEDC President and CEO Michael A. Finney. “The fact that SRI has chosen the Michigan Life Science and Innovation Center as its hub of clinical operations is further proof that Michigan is on the right track to becoming a biotech powerhouse.” 

In July the MSF authorized $7 million for the Centers of Innovation program to promote the development, acceleration, and sustainability of competitive-edge technology sectors in the state. Awards may be made in the form of grants, loans, or other economic assistance and may be provided to for-profit companies, benefit companies, nonprofit companies, universities, and national laboratories. 

About SRI Biosciences
SRI Biosciences carries out basic research, drug discovery, and drug development, and provides contract (CRO) services. SRI has all of the resources necessary to take R&D from "Idea to IND"®—from initial discovery to the start of human clinical trials—and specializes in cancer, immunology and inflammation, infectious disease, and neuroscience. SRI's product pipeline has yielded marketed drugs, therapeutics currently in clinical trials, and additional programs in earlier stages. In its CRO business, SRI has helped government and industry clients and partners advance many drugs into patient testing. SRI is also working to create the next generation of technologies in areas such as diagnostics, drug delivery, medical devices, and systems biology.

About SRI International 
Innovations from SRI International have created new industries, billions of dollars of marketplace value, and lasting benefits to society—touching our lives every day. SRI, a nonprofit research and development institute based in Silicon Valley, brings its innovations to the marketplace through technology licensing, new products, and spin-off ventures. Government and business clients come to SRI for pioneering R&D and solutions in computing and communications, chemistry and materials, education, energy, health and pharmaceuticals, national defense, robotics, sensing, and more. For more information on SRI International, visit

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.