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MDA Venture Philanthropy

The MVP program targets investments in early-stage companies with promising technologies (drug or device) for neuromuscular diseases, serving to de-risk their platform and to help attract larger venture capital investments.

MVP Review and Deal Negotiation Process

The MVP review and deal negotiation process is characterized by an emphasis on a strategy resulting in a commercially viable drug or device therapy and a return on investment.

Following the submission of a non-confidential Letter of Intent including basic company and research project information, applicants will be notified if approved to move forward into the next phase of review.

The next phase of the review process includes an evaluation of a non-confidential slide deck that describes the company research pipeline/platform, potential therapeutic impact, technical feasibility, management team, Board of Directors, and affiliated scientific advisors. Applicants are reviewed based on the likelihood that their proposed strategy would result in commercially viable therapy and a return on investment to decide which applicants should move forward into the diligence review process.

For applicants moving forward into the next phase of the review process, a confidential diligence review of the scientific and commercial structure of the company is required to enable MDA to make informed investment decisions. This review is an expert assessment of the preclinical/ clinical, manufacturing, regulatory, and patient advocacy plans with the commercial strategy for therapies (drug or device) as well as a review of the organizational budget, management team, and intellectual property of the company.

Applicants moving forward after the diligence review process, will move into a deal negotiation with MDA. Investments can take the form of an equity stake, convertible notes or royalty sharing agreements, but the investment terms will not inhibit future investment in the company, and the return on investment will be proportional to the percentage of the project supported by MDA.

Royalty sharing agreements will have payments linked to milestones governed by an external steering committee consisting of scientific experts agreed upon by the company and by MDA, who will evaluate data and milestones as the project progresses. For equity investments annual or biannual updates are required.

MDA will also negotiate march-in rights such that if the company ceases development of the therapy for the indication supported by MDA for reasons other than scientific failure, such as a change in strategic direction, MDA shall have access to the necessary intellectual property and results from MVP-sponsored studies such that development of the therapy can be continued through other avenues. MDA also requires that will be credited for its support in all external reports of data.

MVP Review Committee

MDA has access to a highly qualified set of experts to make recommendations about the selection of projects to invest in. MDA’s MVP review committee consists of experts in neuromuscular disease research, neuromuscular medicine, biotechnology, venture capital investment and therapeutic development. MDA’s staff scientists work with these experts to select projects with the best possible chance of a commercially viable therapy (drug or device) and a return on investment.

For information on how to apply to the MDA Venture Philanthropy program, please visit the Funding Opportunities page.

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