Accelerating Breakthrough Discoveries into Medicines

The Harrington Family

The Harrington Family

The Harrington family of Hudson, Ohio, became the most generous philanthropic family in the history of University Hospitals on February 28, 2012. With their gift of $50 million to create the innovative Harrington Discovery Institute, the Harringtons’ total giving surpassed $72.6 million.

The Harrington Discovery Institute is a key part of a pioneering, Cleveland-based national initiative to accelerate the transformation of physician-scientists’ medical breakthroughs into life-enhancing and lifesaving new drugs. The institute aligns with a mission-driven for-profit enterprise to form a powerful system for drug development. The Harrington Discovery Institute addresses a major challenge in medicine today: a lack of resources and commitment to new drug development that has created a wide gap, known as the “Valley of Death,” in which promising research stalls. The result has been a serious decline in approved new medicines.

“We are very excited to support what we see as a national model that will bring new drugs to the market to help patients with heart disease, cancer and other health issues,” says Ron Harrington, who along with his wife, Nancy; daughter Jill; and son and daughter-in-law, Ron and Lydia, made these generous gifts to UH. “Our family became humbled students of heart disease after I was diagnosed. During the process, we marveled at how physician-scientists play a pivotal role in advancing discovery, yet face so many obstacles throughout the process.”