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News and Events > Newsletters > Monthly Newsletter: April 2005


University of Colorado Technology Transfer Office

Monthly Newsletter


Volume 1 ~ Issue 8 ~ April 2005

Today at the TTO

Calif. firm to buy CDM Optics for $30 million in cash, stock
A California company plans to buy Boulder-based CDM Optics Inc. in a stock and cash transaction worth $30 million that is expected to close by the end of April. Sunnyvale, Calif.-based OmniVision (Nasdaq:OVTI) will use CDM Optics' technology that improves depth of field in camera lenses in its product line of cameras. (more)

TTO Executes New Biological Materials Licenses
CU's Biological Materials marketing initiative is gaining momentum. In March theUniversity of Colorado signed its third non-exclusive license agreement for an antibody discovered in the Pharmaceutical Sciences labs of David Ross and David Siegel at HSC. The two new licensees of the NQ 01 antibody are Novus Biologicals, a company based in Littleton, and Zymed Laboratories, based in San Francisco. Additionally, seven current requests for non-exclusive licenses to Biological Materials are being evaluated.

TTO has identified Biological Materials, including monoclonal, polyclonal, diagnostic and therapeutic antibodies, available for licensing in the University and initiated a campaign focused on offering current available technologies to companies in the US and Europe. Since the launch of this broad marketing campaign in January 2005 the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center TTO has negotiated and executed five new agreements for licensing Biological Materials.

If you have any questions regarding Biological Materials licensing please contact Susana Read at Susana.read@uchsc.edu or Elizabeth Towner at Elizabeth.towner@uchsc.edu. (303) 724-0184

TTO's Boulder Office Hosts Second Annual Boulder Technology Transfer Awards
On April 12, 2005, Ken Porter, Director of the Boulder Office of Technology Transfer, hosted the second annual Boulder Technology Transfer Awards. This year the awards were held at the St. Julian Hotel in Boulder with a capacity audience. Susan Avery, Interim Provost, spoke before the group and presented the Boulder Administrator Award and Boulder Student Award. Stein Sture received the Boulder Administrator Award for his work as Associate Dean of Research, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and his efforts to foster collaboration between engineering researchers and Technology Transfer. The Boulder Student Awardwent to the Capstone Design Team "Aqualung" for their work on a dual-use visualization bronchioscope and laryngoscope. The team "Aqualung" consists of four students: Robin Elliot, Greg Newcomb, Freddie Oteromatos, and Minhaz Ali.

CU Options Cancer Theraputic to Serendipity Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
The University of Colorado (CU) today announced that it has exclusively optioned to Serendipity Pharmaceuticals, Inc, also of Boulder, the patented cancer therapeutic Doxoform. Doxoform is a prodrug to the active metabolite of the chemotherapeutic agent doxorubicin that readily cross-links DNA. As such, it is a highly potent and improved form of doxorubicin, active against both sensitive and resistant tumor cells. CU Professor Tad Koch was quoted as saying, "My current and former graduate students, postdoctoral associates, and I are all very excited about the possibility that our research discoveries will be explored further by Serendipity Pharmaceuticals with the goal of improved treatments for cancer." (more)

Bioinformatics Disclosures Are On the Rise
An increasing number of exciting bioinformatics technologies have been disclosed to the TTO in the past year. CU researchers from theHealth Sciences Center's School of Medicine, CU-Boulder's departments of Chemistry & Biochemistry, Applied Mathematics, and Computer Science have been forging collaborations in this area. Collaborations have resulted in discoveries that will make the mining of the genetic data much more efficient and accurate. (For one example, look at the technology of the month for Boulder). A summer intern will be hired to do an industry analysis and find out where these technologies fit from a commercial perspective. The TTO needs help from the business community to assess the commercial value of these discoveries. If you or one of your colleagues has expertise or interest in bioinformatics, please contact Kate Tallman, 303-492-5732, kate.tallman@colorado.edu

TTO Continues Its Search for Business Advisors for Summer Program
For the past two summers the University of Colorado Technology Transfer Office (TTO) has operated a program that expedites the process of technology commercialization by forming project teams to evaluate CU technologies and develop concept companies. Project teams consist of CU student interns, TTO licensing staff and members of the Front-Range professional business community. Since its inception, more than 75 professionals, including prominent IP attorneys, venture capitalists, management consultants, technology domain experts and serial entrepreneurs, volunteered their time, contacts, expertise and energy. Overall, the summer program creates new relationships, identifies opportunities and increases understanding about technology transfer between the University and the Colorado business community. The TTO is currently seeking Front-Range business professionals and firms with an interest in volunteering their time and expertise to serve as business advisors to the summer 2005 program. If interested, please contact David Allen at david.allen@cu.edu. (more)

The University of Colorado Announces License Agreement with Cardiac Access
The University of Colorado has licensed a diagnostic decision support system to Cardiac Access LLC, a start-up company that combines technology discovered in the School of Engineering with the needs of pediatric cardiologists who have joint appointments at CU's Health Sciences Center ("HSC") and The Children's Hospital ("TCH"). Incorporating an artificial neural network ("ANN") that has been trained with data obtained on pediatric patients, the system will enable a doctor or nurse to quickly and accurately diagnose suspected heart murmurs at the point-of-care with a digital stethoscope. (more)

TTO's Learning Laboratory: The Student Connection

TTO Congratulates Key Student Employee Gwen Butcher
Congratulations to Gwen Butcher on her upcoming graduation from CU with degrees in Marketing and Spanish. Gwen began work as an Office Assistant with the TTO's Boulder office in October 2003. In the summer of 2004, she left us to take classes in Seville, Spain. We missed her then, and we will certainly miss her when she moves on to her next job. Gwen has taken on progressively more responsibility. She has found ways to streamline her routine tasks, which allowed her to take on bigger projects involving event management and correspondence with technology transfer organizations at other schools. We know that Gwen will be successful at whatever career she chooses.

Spotlight On:

CU-Boulder's Technology of the Month CU HSC's Technology of the Month CU's Company of the Month
CU1378B - New Methods For Assessing The Statistical Significance Of Genome-Wide Motif Searches 1994.IR470H - Brandykinin Antagonists For The Treatment Of Non Small Cell Lung Cancer Archemix
A software module has been developed by collaborators in the Department of Chemistry/Biochemistry and the Department of Applied Mathematics. It is a new method to compute the probability of occurrence of various patterns in a random string generated by a memoryless but possibly biased source. The technique is useful because it allows us to calculate the probability of a complex motif made up of many correlated modules. It can be implemented algorithmically using common programming languages to compute the probability of occurrence of any motif, or at least estimate this probability in cases which are difficult to handle due to memory constraints. This mathematical problem is very important in biological sequence analysis. Motifs are known to be common in RNA secondary structure problems, such as in the definition of functional RNAs such as tRNAs, riboswitches, and ribozymes, and we have good reason to suspect that they will also play an important role in the regulation of gene expression and splicing. Genome-wide screens for motifs, either in promoter regions or for functional RNAs, have been plagued by false positives that arose because no model existed for estimating the probability of finding equally good matches by chance. Additionally, the methods are expected to be useful in SELEX, because they allow estimation of ways to tune the composition of a pool of random molecules to maximize the probability of discovering new molecular functions, such as drug activities. The nonapeptide bradykinin is a Janus-faced hormone, which exerts pathophysiological as well as pronounced beneficial physiological effects, mainly by the stimulation of BK B2 receptors. Research by Bunn et al. published in 1992 suggests that Bradykinin may be involved as an autocrine modulator in the pathogenesis of human lung cancer. Based on this research, Dr. Stewart has pursued the design and specific synthesis of a stable bradykinin antagonist as a means for the chemoprevention and therapeutic treatment of human lung cancers. Initial pharmacological studies have positive and the compound has inhibited growth of both SCLC and NSCLC cell lines in vitro as well as delaying growth of SCLC xenographs in nude mice. Initial Cardiovascular studies have been completed in Cynomolgus Monkeys and further studies are planned to test the effect of different doses on blood pressure and heart rates. Archemix is biopharmaceutical company founded in 2001 based CU's SELEX technology and a dominant patent portfolio. Archemix's mission is to advance the novel class of aptamer therapeutics through a commitment to internal research and external alliances. According to Archemix, "aptamers provide a promising alternative to conventional therapeutic approaches. Aptamers can be used in a wide range of disease areas, including many of those currently addressed by protein-based therapeutics. Aptamers demonstrate little to no immunogenicity or toxicity, and can be produced quickly and economically."

Located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the company has formed strategic alliances with three other companies formed based on CU technology: EyeTech Pharmaceuticals, SomaLogic, Inc., and Sirna (formerly Ribozyme Pharmaceuticals, founded in Boulder in 1994).

Archemix and Boulder's SomaLogic, Inc., agreed in 2003 to clarify rights to diagnostic and therapeutic uses of SELEX. SomaLogic, founded by CU Professor Larry Gold, is the exclusive licensee of the diagnostic uses of the SELEX patent portfolio. According to Dr. Gold, the agreement promotes advances in each company's field of expertise, maximizing aptamer research potential. In 2004 Dr. Gold was appointed to Archemix's Scientific Advisory Board. Archemix's earliest tie to CU dates to its founding in 2001, when the company formed an initial alliance with one of the earliest of start-ups based on CU science, Ribozyme Pharmaceuticals Inc., which in 2003 became Sirna Therapeutics. This association continues to advance through process development and aptamer manufacturing agreements.

Currently, Archemix, in collaboration with Nuvelo, is advancing another aptamer therapeutic into a Phase I clinical trial. ARC183, an anti-thrombin aptamer, is a therapeutic candidate for potential use in coronary artery bypass graft surgery.

In addition to its portfolio of more than 300 patents and patent applications, Archemix has a strong base of committed investors and has raised more than $100 million since 2001. (more)

Search our database for licenseable CU Technologies

Technology Transfer Bulletin of the Month

Marketing CU Intellectual Property
Marketing university inventions is a matter of showing the right invention to the right person in the right company at the right time. Here is the process followed by the CU Technology Transfer Office.

Upcoming Events

Biobootcamp 2005
Biobootcamp attendees will learn valuable information from experienced practitioners about how to build a company designed to commercialize bioscience technologies while avoiding dangerous pitfalls that are typically encountered along the way. Only 50 qualified applicants will be selected. Check out www.biobootcamp.com for more information and an application. Applications must be postmarked by April 22nd. Those accepted to the program will be notified by May 6, 2005. This is a complimentary conference and there is no fee to participate or apply. (more)

Legal Seminar: "Bench to Bedside: Oncology Drug Product Development and Target Commercialization"
Friday, April 29th, 2005 - The CU Technology Transfer Office and the law offices of Greenlee, Winner & Sullivan present a new TTO Legal Seminar with Eric Malek, Vice President of Business Development, Allos Theraputics. (more)

Mid-America Technology Commercialization and Financing: Leveraging Capital, Talent and Technology in Mid-America to Drive Technology Commercialization and Research Spin-Outs
May 19-20, 2005 - The World Research Group is hosting a two day forum concentrating on technology commercialization and financing. The CU TTO would like to extend a $300 discount coupon offer to potential attendees. Registration and further information can be found at the forum website. (more)

Summer Program Orientation
May 31- June1, 2005 - The Technology Transfer Office will be holding an orientation session for Summer MBA students on May 31-June1. This session will be open to anyone who is interested in learning more about technology transfer. The orientation will include a general session about the role of the technology transfer office in the university, the resources our office has to work with and the organizational structure and culture of the university. There will be more specific sessions on licensing technologies and the types of licenses, intellectual property, patentability analysis, market research, resources available to our office, and the process of going from an invention disclosure all the way to a start-up. Members of the business community are welcome to come for the whole orientation, or for topics of interest to them. Look for a more detailed schedule of events in the May newsletter. If you have any questions, contact Gwen Butcher: techtran@colorado.edu

Innovation in the News

Local Factors Influencing Tech Commercialization
What are the factors of commercial success? As they say in real estate: location, location, location. So what makes a good location for commercializing innovation? Innovative ideas clearly thrive where R&D spending flows and local patent activity exists. But, do R&D dollars and level of patents also indicate locations for tech transfer? Not necessarily. A recent working paper in applied economics finds a more complex web of relationships at work.

Boulder Innovation Center receives $150,000 grant
The newly formed Boulder Innovation Center will receive $150,000 in state funding that will help launch the business development organization. The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade will give the center $75,000 in year one, $50,000 in year two and $25,000 in year three, said Sean Maher, a member of the center's board of directors and director of the Boulder Economic Council. The center is required to provide annual updates to the state office in years two and three before funds are released in those years.

CTEK hires business leader to launch Stapleton satellite
CTEK Venture Centers has hired Stephen Miller, former vice president of the Southeast Business Partnership, to head up its third satellite, CTEK Stapleton. CTEK Stapleton will be housed in the building formerly used as the Visitor and Homefinding Center for the 4,700-acre mixed-used development.

Jerde targets new markets for CU's Deming Center
Entrepreneur Paul Jerde has a knack for identifying new market opportunities, and he intends to apply that skill to the Deming Center for Entrepreneurship. Jerde became executive director of the Robert H. and Beverly A. Deming Center at the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado-Boulder in December, following a long history with the center. He has served on its board of advisers since the center was established in 1996.

 
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