Therapeutics Accelerator

what is the accelerator?


The University of Utah Therapeutics Accelerator Hub (U2TAH) was created to enable innovative therapies emerging from discoveries made at the University of Utah to reach patients with unmet medical needs in a more efficient and timely manner.

what are the benefits of the accelerator?

  • Achieve our institutional goal of improving health through novel science​
  • Enhance faculty recruiting and retention​
  • Enhance university visibility and reputation​
  • Attract industry partners and funding​
  • Create a culture of innovation and know-how in therapeutics​
  • See the potential to provide substantial, ongoing revenue for the university

how will they do it?


The Accelerator will identify internal therapeutic candidates with great potential​ in an effort to:

  • Bring world-class, industry-informed expertise in charting development path for each technology​
  • Invest resources to advance therapeutics to clinic-ready (IND) stage through internal and external labs​
  • Identify optimal partnering or licensing opportunities for the advanced assets


Areas of focus

  • Projects that target Oncology, Neurology, Immunology and Rare Diseases.
  • Therapeutic strategies including small molecules, biologics, novel delivery approaches, gene therapy, and cell therapeutics.
  • Any stage of development with a valid target and a translational and commercialization trajectory.
  • Small molecule therapeutic projects with optimized leads or screening hits that can form the basis for a lead optimization program.
  • For biologics, gene therapy and cell therapeutics, laboratory validation that can move into process development.

Who is going to do this?


The accomplished and qualified team includes Dave Bearss, Senior Managing Director; Mike McCullar, Managing Director and Andi Groen, Administration Manager.

David Bearss, PhD

Senior Managing Director

David Bearss, PhD

Senior Managing Director
• 20+ years of academic and industry experience in drug discovery and development • Serial entrepreneur with several successful exits and developed products • CEO of Tolero & CSO/Head of R&D of Sumitomo Dainippon Global Oncology • Former Co-Director The Center for Investigational Therapeutics The Huntsman Cancer Institute

Michael McCullar, PhD/MBA

Managing Director

Michael McCullar, PhD/MBA

Managing Director
• 20+ years drug development leadership experience • Led US approval of Dacogen • Closed >$1.5B M&A transactions of Montigen, SuperGen, and Astex to Otsuka, and Tolero to Sumitomo Dainippon

Andrea "Andi" Groen, BS

Administration Manager & Program Coordinator

Andrea "Andi" Groen, BS

Administration Manager & Program Coordinator
• 25+ years administrative, executive and program/project support

I'm interested - who do i contact?


Contact the Accelerator group at if you have an idea you'd like to discuss.