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News and Events > Newsletters > Monthly Newsletter: September 2005


University of Colorado Technology Transfer Office

Monthly Newsletter


Volume 2 ~ Issue 2 ~ September 2005

Today at the TTO

Fall 2005 POC Investment Round is Underway
The POC fall 2005 investment round is underway and applications may be submitted beginning September 14 through Friday, October 7, 2005. The POC program provides early stage "seed" investments to enable the further development and validation of promising CU technologies that are, or will become, the platform for a CU start-up company. POC program investments can range from $50,000 to $100,000, and the technologies are selected based on a competitive application process. For more information about the POC program, selection criteria and application requirements, visit https://www.cusys.edu/techtransfer/poc/index.html or contact Tom Smerdon, Director, New Business Development, at tom.smerdon@cu.edu or 303-735-0621.

TTO Licenses Software Tool for Assessing Surgical Procedures
Pediatric surgeons from The Children's Hospital have developed an electronic tool that ranks the complexity of more than 150 pediatric procedures for congenital heart disease. Dr. Francois Lacour-Gayet developed the tool due to frustration with surgical evaluation based upon mortality alone without regard for the complexity of the required procedure. The Aristotle Complexity Score allows surgeons to input the surgical procedure and other factors individual to the patient to help determine overall complexity and related morbidity and mortality. The Complexity Score can also help parents determine their child's score as well as rank institutions capable of performing procedures at given levels of complexity. (more)

COPEC Innovations Licensed to Center Sponsors
TheColorado Power Electronics Center (CoPEC), based in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the CU Boulder campus has the well deserved reputation as an innovation leader. CoPEC is an industrial consortium that includes international computer engineering firms as well as specialty start-up companies. CoPEC faculty Dragan Maksimovic and Regan Zane have seven new innovations related to power management in electronic devices. A total of nineteen license agreements with electronic industrial leaders will soon be completed for the CoPEC innovations. Utility patent applications are in preparation for all seven CoPEC innovations. Information on CoPEC and sponsorship options are available on the center website: http://ece-www.colorado.edu/~pwrelect/index.html.

VPAAR Releases 2005 Annual Report
The Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Research has recently released its 2004-2005 Annual Report. The Office of Technology Transfer's activities are summarized in the report on page 12. To access the report, click here.

FY 2005-06 Members for the Committee on University Discoveries and TTO Business Advisory Board Announced
The Committee on University Discoveries is composed of nine members chosen from University Governance and Administration according to Section 6 of the "Administrative Policy Statement on Intellectual Property Policy on Discoveries and Patents for Their Protection and Commercialization." The committee's two primary responsibilities are to review intellectual property policies and procedures, to implement them, and to serve as a board to hear appeals brought by university inventors concerning TTO actions. To date, no appeals have been brought to the committee.

The TTO Business Advisory Board provides strategic advice to the TTO. The group meets three times a year and many of the members provide assistance to TTO on invention disclosures, commercial feasibility analysis and business plans. (more)

CU Technology and Licensee Companies in the News

Aktiv-Dry to Develop Low-Cost Inhalable Measles Vaccine
A local biosciences startup is developing a pharmaceutical product so compelling it received a $19.5 million grant to develop it. Aktiv-Dry LLC won a $19.5 million, five-year grant from the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health to support the development of an inhalable dry powder measles vaccine. Not only is the powder a low-cost delivery system, said founder and Chief Executive Officer Bob Sievers, dry vaccines are simple to administer so a trained medical specialist isn't needed to give them, and they don't require refrigeration. (more)

Replidyne Completes $62.5 Million Financing/Henry Wendt Joins Board of Directors
Replidyne, Inc., a privately held biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of new antiinfective drugs, announced today that it has raised $62.5 million in a Series D financing led by several large institutional investors, including new investors Duquesne Capital Management, Healthcare Investment Partners and MDS Life Sciences Technology II funds (served by MDS Capital Corp.). Also participating in this financing round were existing investors HealthCare Ventures, TPG Ventures, Morgenthaler Ventures, Perseus-Soros BioPharmaceutical Fund, Sequel Venture Partners, Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd and Quintiles Transnational. Aquilo Partners, Inc. served as the exclusive placement agent for Replidyne. (more)

TTO's Learning Laboratory: The Student Connection

Continuing Interns
TTO will continue the internship appointment of some of the students employed during the summer. Fall internships typically involve less of an hourly commitment by students than the full time commitment of the summer. Fall internship appointments enables students to continue working on projects started during the summer. The five students are: Eric Gricus, Rachel McGuinley, Jason Roosa, Stan Sanchez and Blossom Tichenor.

TTO in the Classroom
While Technology Transfer Office staff members are always working with CU faculty members in pursuit of innovation and invention, it is ever important to cultivate the spirit of education that drives the university. Accordingly, the TTO constantly strives to maintain a cooperative relationship with CU students. Through their mutual involvement, not only do both benefit, but so in turn do the scientific and business communities. (more)

Spotlight On:

CU Boulder's Technology of the Month CU HSC's Technology of the Month CU's Company of the Month
CU1309B - Nonmechanical High Pressure Pump CU1267H, CU1328H - Mer: Diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring of cancer therapy RxKinetics
Non-mechanical pumping of liquids is of key interest for applications ranging from biomedical lab-on-a-chip systems to morphing mechanical structures. Researchers at theUniversity of Colorado have developed a pumping and pressurization system with no moving parts that uses modest level of external power. Pressures up to 23 atm have been demonstrated using this e-Pump (membrane based) system. Electrochemical reactions are used to create a charge imbalance across an ionomer membrane. The mobile cation within the solution then migrates across the membrane to balance the charge, transporting solvent molecules with it. In this modified version of facilitated transport, the solvation shell of the ion appears to play a key role in the volume transport and the pressurization processes. Applications of the e-Pump include: nano- and micro-fluidics, activation of morphing structures, and adapting structures. The tyrosine kinase Mer may serve as a therapeutic target or biomarker used for cancer diagnosis, prognosis, or treatment monitoring. Researchers have determined that Mer over-expression has been linked to a number of different human cancers including subsets of B and T cell leukemia, lymphoma, pituitary adenoma, gastric cancer, and rhabdomyosarcoma.

Within hematopoietic cell lines, Mer is normally expressed in monocytes/macrophages, dendritic cells, megakaryocytes, and platelets. Mer RNA transcript or protein is not detected in lymphocytes or thymocytes . However, in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) cell lines and patient samples, Mer RNA transcript and protein is present. In addition to the ectopic expression of Mer in leukemia, the Mer extracellular domain in leukemia cells appears to be glycosylated in a manner different from the glycosylation present in platelets, and monocytes/macrophages. In addition to the unique glycoforms present in lymphoblasts, researchers have detected in some leukemia patient samples alterations of the Mer protein that are the result of mutations, deletions, or alternative splicing of the Mer gene.

As Mer's role in leukemia and lymphoma becomes better understood, Mer has the potential to become an importance therapeutic target or biomarker. In addition, antibodies that bind to leukemia-specific forms of Mer protein on lymphoblasts could be used therapeutically to treat Mer positive patients with leukemia or lymphoma.

These new research findings emerging around Mer may have profound implications on millions of individuals these diseases impact each year. The University of Colorado has pending patent protection on a broad variety of diagnostic, pharmacogenomic, and theranostic uses of mutation and glycoform biomarkers, and constructs utilizing Mer, Mer mutants, and mer glycovariants for hematopoetic cancer and thrombophilia indications.
RxKinetix is a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on developing new therapeutics for oncology care. By combining proven drugs with its proprietary, polymer-based drug delivery technologies, the Company has accelerated development timelines while significantly reducing the risk of failure. The Company currently has four products in development, including some that incorporate technology from the CU-Boulder Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering and the CU-Denver and Health Sciences Center Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

RxKinetix's lead candidate, RK-0202, is currently in late Phase II clinical trials for oral mucositis, the primary rate-limiting side effect associated with radiation and chemotherapy. Two other products are targeting proctitis and oral pain and could potentially be filed as Investigational New Drugs with the FDA in early 2006, pending the results of the Company's current Phase II trial. In addition, the company is developing a hematopoietic growth factors formulation, HemaGelTG-CSF and vaccines with improved release and temperature stability characteristics.

The Company has received numerous grants including from SBIR, STTR, and the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health. More recently it has received a prestigious grant for its vaccines program from the Grand Challenges in Global Health initiative funded in part by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. RxKinetix' grant was based on the Grand Challenge #2 entitled "Prepare vaccines that do not require refrigeration". It is initially targeting eliminating the cold chain requirement for measles and hepatitis B vaccines. For more information on the RxKinetix, please visit www.rxkinetix.com

Search our database for licenseable CU Technologies

Upcoming Events

Save the Date - 4th Annual Technology Transfer Awards
January 10, 2006 - The Fourth Annual CU Technology Transfer Awards will be held on Tuesday, January 10th, 2006 at the Turnhalle in the Historic Tivoli Brewery, UCD campus, 900 Auraria Parkway, Denver, CO 80204. Please return to our webpage for updated information as it becomes available.

Biowest 2005
November 8-9, 2005- The only conference and trade show dedicated to the Bioscience Industry in the Rocky Mountain Region. BioWest 2005 is the place where the biotech and medical device ecosystems in the Rocky Mountain West collide. Everything happens here. Join us at BioWest 2005 to discover the companies, discoveries, technologies, services, venture capital opportunities and players in the bioscience industry in Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, Utah and New Mexico. (more)

The State of Capital
October 18, 2005 - Attend Colorado's forum that brings together representatives from all Colorado's major high-growth investment sources. Listen as venture capital firms, corporate investing arms, angels, government programs, banks, and more discuss where the money is, where it is going, and how you can get it. www.StateofCapital.biz

Board of Regents Presentation
October 5, 2005 - David Allen will present the annual reports of the Technology Transfer Office and the University Licensing Equity Holdings Inc. to the University of Colorado Board of Regents at the Board's Strategic Planning Study Session.

House Committee on Economic Development Presentation
September 22, 2005 - David Allen will be one of a half dozen speakers presenting to the House Committee on Economic Development on the morning of Sept 22nd at the State Capitol Building, House Committee Room 0112. He will address the role of technology transfer in the State's economy.

Entrepreneurship Discussion
September 20, 2005 - 12:15-1:45 - The Graduate Entrepreneurship Association and Deming Center for Entrepreneurship will be sponsoring a panel discussion on entrepreneurship for this year's first GEA Learn from the Best Speaker Series. Panelists include Paul Jerde ( Deming Center for Entrepreneurship), David Allen (CU Technology Transfer), Jim Pollock (CTEK), Larry Kutt (Colorado Altitude Training), and Kyla Duffy (Nutballz). The panel will be located in room 218 of the Leeds School of Business. We will focus on topics such as:

  • What is entrepreneurship?
  • What is a career in entrepreneurship?
  • What is the entrepreneurial culture in Boulder all about?
  • Why study entrepreneurship?

Lunch will be served for those who RSVP to blossom.tichenor@colorado.edu by September 15th. This event is open to the public.

Innovation in the News

How Venture Capital Thwarts Innovation
Venture capital funds have swelled hugely in the past decade or so-and that's good, isn't it? Venture capital lights fires under scrappy and ambitious start-ups. It can help bring great new ideas to market, some of which go on to disrupt entrenched industries, spawn entirely new ones, perhaps even permanently change the world.

NIH Announces Final Ethics Rules
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced recently final regulations regarding reporting of certain financial interests, stock divestiture, outside activities, and awards. The regulations were developed by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in close collaboration with NIH, with the concurrence of the Office of Government Ethics (OGE), the Federal agency that prescribes executive branch-wide ethics standards. The announcement came following a careful review of all comments about the interim ethics regulation submitted by NIH staff, the public, and scientific organizations.

A Summer Surge for Volatile Biotech
Investors in the nation's biotechnology sector are riding a roller coaster this summer, seeing indexes that track these companies reach their highest levels in years -- then retreat amid doubts about whether the rally can be sustained. The bumpy ride is a reminder that biotech investing is not for the timid. The industry is a source of continual fascination for investors who believe modern science can deliver cures, and make a lot of money in the process. But it also can be hazardous to people's financial health, so much so that many analysts warn small investors to approach the sector with caution, if at all.

University of Massachussets Amherst Seeks to Cultivate Stronger Marijuana
MAPS, in association with Prof. Lyle Craker, Director, Medicinal Plant Program, UMass Amherst Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, is in the midst of the process of seeking DEA permission to establish a medical marijuana production facility to grow high-potency marijuana for FDA-approved research. At present, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has a monopoly on the supply of marijuana that can be used in research, seriously hindering medical marijuana research. NIDA provides inferior, low-potency marijuana to researchers whose protocols it approves and denies marijuana even to FDA-approved protocols it doesn't approve, preventing those studies from taking place.

 
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