About Us

Commercial Drug Discovery Program


The BCM Ventures team is here to help guide Baylor faculty through collaborative drug discovery opportunities and find the right pathway towards commercialization. Benefits to working with our partners: 

  • We are working with long-term partners who have a proven track record of providing resources for commercial success. 
  • Our partners are committed to attracting leaders who have already driven a drug development process to industry and successfully led targets from clinical trials to market. 
  • With built-in resources that can efficiently develop assets, these partnerships can lead to faster time to market.

We are happy to come to your department or center to share more about this opportunity. Contact bcmventures@bcm.edu to schedule an info-session. 


Blue Square Discoveries

Media Component
Blue Square Discoveries Logo

Blue Square Discoveries joins our commercial drug discovery program as our first cornerstone collaboration.

Founded by Deerfield Management and Baylor in 2021, Blue Square Discoveries will leverage Baylor’s scientific expertise and knowledge in genetics and its innovative chemistry platform to drive drug discovery. Deerfield pledged up to $130 million along with managerial, operational and drug development expertise to expedite mutually agreed upon research initiatives to market. Researchers at Baylor will have the opportunity to submit proposals for review by committees comprised of scientific leaders from both Baylor and Deerfield for this collaboration.

Read the press release


Internal Target Validation Committee


To help identify the most promising target candidates to bring into a drug discovery partnership, an Internal Target Validation Committee comprised of Baylor faculty has been established. 

ITVC Functions

  • Provide guidance and scientifically assess potential Baylor targets 
  • Direct promising targets to the appropriate collaboration
  • Identify internal expertise and resources, which could aide in the development of the discovery and characterization of small molecules to potential targets 

ITVC Leads

Chair: Salma Kaochar, Ph.D. MFA, Assistant Professor, Medicine – Hematology & Oncology and Oncology Section, Molecular & Cellular Biology, Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center 

Scientific Business Officer for Blue Square Discoveries: Damian Young, Ph.D., Associate Director, Center for Drug Discovery, Assistant Professor, Pharmacology & Chemical Biology, Assistant Professor, Pathology & Immunology

Committee Members:

  • Malcolm Brenner, M.D., Ph.D., Professor, Center for Cell & Gene Therapy, Molecular & Human Genetics, Pediatrics, Medicine, Translational Biology & Molecular Medicine 
  • David Nelson, Ph.D., Professor, Molecular & Human Genetics 
  • Trey Westbrook, Ph.D., Professor, Molecular & Human Genetics, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Director, THINC

Submitting a Target


Submission of your target is a multi-step certification process involving disclosure of the target, an understanding of the process defined by the College, and all target submission criteria with supporting documentation. Submissions will only be accepted from Baylor faculty. 

Prior to submission, make sure to: 

  • Submit a disclosure to BCM Ventures via the IP Management System (for Baylor faculty-only)
  • Have a listing of any funding sources (Federal or State funding (e.g. NIH, CPRIT), non-profit foundation funding, etc.) 
  • Have a listing of any connections with industry, such as a VC relationship, Sponsored Research Agreement (SRA), Research Collaboration Agreement (RCA), consulting agreement, Board seat, etc. 

Submit your target (Baylor faculty-only) 

View Guidelines for Commercialization Submissions to Internal Target Validation Committee (Baylor-faculty only)


Target Submission Criteria


The following details will be required to submit a target for commercial evaluation: 

  • Target/Gene Name
  • Gene Symbol
  • UniProt  ID
  • Summary
  • Disease Area 
  • Have you or others identified a genetic link associating the target with a disease state? (e.g. GWAS/Mendelian, loss of function or gain of function mutation, change in mRNA levels, epigenetic changes, etc.)
  • Is the target druggable? (supporting protein structure studies (e.g. crystallography), existing small molecule inhibitors, etc.) 
  • Have you developed functional assays? (functional cellular assays, knock-out/knock-in mouse models, etc.)
  • Supporting Attachments
  • Developers & Department or Institution (both BCM and non-BCM developers who have contributed to the development of this target) 
  • Funding Sources (Federal or State funding (e.g. NIH, CPRIT), non-profit Foundation funding, etc.) 
  • Special Affiliations (HHMI, VA, etc.) 
  • Public Disclosure