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News and Events > Newsletters > Monthly Newsletter: November/December 2005

University of Colorado Technology Transfer Office

Monthly Newsletter

Volume 2 ~ Issue 4 ~ November/December 2005

Today at the TTO

TTO-HKE 2005 Annual CU Technology Transfer Awards Event

The fourth annual TTO awards event will be held the late afternoon and evening of January 10, 2006. The sponsor of the event is the law firm of Hensley Kim & Edgington, LLC, Denver. The venue is the Turnhalle located in the Historic Tivoli Brewery at the University of Colorado, Denver campus. This event celebrates people and companies that are illustrative of the outstanding year experienced by technology transfer at CU. To view a detailed schedule visit our Awards Web Site.

TTO Announces Fall 2005 Proof of Concept Investments

Three CU start-up companies have been awarded $100,000 Proof of Concept investments after a highly competitive fall 2005 POCi (investment) round. The POC investment recipients were selected by a panel of venture capitalists after oral presentations by the finalists. The POCi company recipients and their associated technologies are: "Merstatin" (a novel cancer therapeutic technology developed at the Health Sciences Center in Denver); "Object Recognition" (object recognition software for computer vision applications developed in the Department of Psychology at CU Boulder); and Innovative Bio Devices, Inc. (miniaturized wireless and batteryless biomedical devices, based on technology from CU Boulder's Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology at the Health Sciences Center).

The POCi 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. Applications for the spring 2006 POCi round will be due by March 24, 2006, and more details will appear in the January newsletter. For more information about the POCi program, contact Tom Smerdon, Director, New Business Development, at or 303-735-0621.

HSC TTO Unveils New MTA Automation Process

The Technology Transfer Office is pleased to announce the launch of its new Materials Transfer Agreement (MTA) automation process. For several months we have been developing a mechanism in our database which will enable us to keep track of MTAs during the review and signature process. The number of MTAs has substantially increased over the past few years, and we are happy to have a process in place which will make our lives a little easier. There will be fewer chances for human error, and fewer occasions where something will be lost within the system. For a detailed explanation of the new MTA process, please visit our website entitled The MTA Process.

CU Technology and Licensee Companies in the News

CU Breeds Incredible Technologies, Tech Transfer Leads Them to Real World

Imagine the University of Colorado as one huge laboratory - innovating and brewing up a constant cauldron of new technologies. In many ways, it's the ideal research environment for many sciences - biotech, medical products, software to name just a few. Ideal because this research is unencumbered, for the most part, by any requirement to show revenue or profit. Federal grants - CU has ranked sixth for federal research expenditures - and university funding maintain facilities, students, Ph.D. researchers, professors, even equipment and administration. (more)

BioWest 2005 a Success

The annual BioWest conference was held at the Denver Convention Center November 8 and 9th. CU TTO was highly present with a booth in the center of the exhibition area and over a hundred people came by to chat and learn more about CU tech transfer. Three companies that have emerged from CU IP presented at the Venture Showcase - AKTIV-DRY, Lohocla Research and ApopLogic Pharmaceuticals.

Solving the University to Industry Tech Transfer Dilemma

The Technology Transfer Office at the University of Colorado think they've hit on a better approach, one that lets the University retain partial ownership of innovations produced on campus while pairing up the researchers with local investors and business entrepreneurs. That's how I ended up spending this morning in a room with about a hundred other entrepreneurs and business people at the Esprit Breakfast Technology Forum, listening to some very smart research teams pitch their vision for future companies built around their own inventions...(more)

Colorado Wins Again!

The University of Colorado, Denver and Boulder, successfully defended their championship and took first place overall in Solar Decathlon 2005. Cornell University was the second place team, and California Polytechnic State University finished third. Learn more about the final results of the competition.

CU Heart Specialists Delve into 3-D

Alan Roots lay sedated under the bright lights of the University of Colorado Hospital's cardiac catheterization lab, waiting for doctors to open a clogged artery in his heart. On a screen over the operating table, a three-dimensional image of his beating heart spun round and round - while 20,000 cardiologists watched on a movie-sized screen at a conference in Washington, D.C. University of Colorado Health Sciences Center researchers have worked 12 years to create new technology offering a 3-D view of the heart's inner workings that doctors can use during non-surgical procedures. (more)

OSI Pharmaceuticals Completes Its Acquisition of Eyetech Pharmaceuticals

OSI Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: OSIP) announced recently that it has completed its acquisition of Eyetech Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of novel therapeutics to treat eye diseases. OSI acquired Eyetech for approximately $685 million in cash and approximately 5.7 million shares of OSI's common stock. Net of Eyetech's cash and net operating loss carryforwards, OSI valued the acquisition at approximately $650 million. Eyetech stockholders will receive $15 per share in cash and 0.12275 of OSI shares for each share of Eyetech owned as of the closing date. (more)

Fitzsimons Redevelopment Authority to Enter into Exclusive Negotiations With Forest City Enterprises to be Development Partner

The Fitzsimons Redevelopment Authority's board of directors has elected to enter into exclusive negotiations with Forest City Enterprises, Inc. to become its long-term development partner for the bioscience park at Fitzsimons. The Fitzsimons Redevelopment Authority (FRA) has been seeking a partnership with a private developer to accelerate the development of the bioscience park. After an extensive selection process and interviews with two capable short-listed candidates, Forest City Enterprises and DTC/Meridian, Forest City Enterprises, a nationally recognized real estate company from Cleveland, Ohio, was chosen. (more)

10 Colorado Scientists Elected as American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellows

Ten scientists in Colorado have been elected fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for 2005, the association said recently. The scientists include five professors from the University of Colorado at Boulder, one from CU-Denver and two from Colorado State University. The new CU-Boulder fellows are Leslie Leinwand and Andrew Staehelin of molecular, cellular and developmental biology; Peter Molnar. (more)

DEMOGala Showcases Area Technology

Over 850 people attended CSIA's first-ever DEMOGala at the Colorado Convention Center on October 20th. The event proved to be CSIA's largest attended event throughout the organization's 10 year history. CSIA's DEMOGala Technology Showcase featured demonstrations and exhibits by twenty-eight (28) of Colorado's top technology companies, whose inventions and discoveries are impacting the success of industries around the globe. The selection process for DEMOGala Technology Showcase involved an exhaustive review of more than 150 nominations received over a four month period. (more)

Noel Clark: Co-Winner of the 2006 APS Oliver E. Buckley Prize

The 2006 American Physical Society Oliver E. Buckley Prize, recognizing "outstanding theoretical or experimental contributions to condensed matter physics," has been awarded to Noel Clark, physicist at the University of Colorado and a user at beamline X10. He shares the prize with Robert Meyer of Brandeis University. (more)

Biotech Takes Root in Northern 'Burbs

Boulder and the northwest suburbs are buzzing with biotech activity as companies sign new and larger leases there, creating what some call a "critical mass" for the industry. In the last year or so, biotech companies have signed leases totaling 447,000 square feet in the northwest corridor. About half of that was from lease renewals; the other half was from new leases or companies expanding their operations. (more)

Biotech Gets on a Roll

A banner September infused U.S. 36 corridor biotechnology companies with cash, added jobs to the area and sent signals that the state's industry may be maturing after a few years of economic doldrums. A trio of firms born out of University of Colorado research - two in Louisville and one in northern Westminster - found access to slightly more than $220 million in September. (more)

TTO's Learning Laboratory: The Student Connection

TTO Welcomes New Accounting Intern

We'd like to welcome Anthony Muljadi our new finance student to the TTO. Tony is a junior from Golden, Colorado. He is a Finance major, with an emphasis in International Business. Tony's major functions include working with our many databases, inputting information, reconciling differences and creating management reports.

Spotlight On:

CU Boulder's Technology of the Month CU HSC's Technology of the Month CU's Company of the Month
CU1359B - Low Cost Haptic Interface CU1234H - A New Approach to Pancreatic Cancer AlphaSniffer, LLC.

Immersive technologies, such as virtual reality or virtual environment, have long focused on achieving visual and auditory immersion. Achievement of three dimensional visual fields, projection have followed along with the advances in computational machines. Haptic is defined as relating to the sense of touch, i.e. tactile sense. The human sense of touch is very sensitive over a wide range of forces and rotation from single finger-tip to double fisted grip. To create truly interactive virtual environments, low cost- haptic systems are required. Available haptic systems tend to have a large foot print and be expensive: around $20,000 each, the size of a table top versus a desktop. Professors Pao and Lawrence have developed a transparent haptic system using inexpensive, off-the-shelf versus expensive, high precision components. The approach of Pao and Lawrence has been to compensate for the 'rough' components using sophisticated control algorithms. In addition to cost reduction, the physical size of the CU haptic system is smaller. A transparent haptic system is therefore, now available for one-half to one third the cost and is the size of a stack of three shoe boxes. Applications for high-end haptics systems include robotics, virtual reality, training (flight simulation, surgical simulation), geometric rendering, animation and exoskeletons.

Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States. In 2003, an estimated 30,700 patients were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Approximately 4,000 of these patients were treated surgically at presentation and this group has a five year survival rate of 20% to 40%. Median survival is between 12 and 20 months. For the remaining 26,000 patients with locally advanced disease or metastatic disease, median survival is between four to eight months and three to five months respectively. The total cost of treating pancreatic cancer in the United States is $2.6 billion. At this time, there is no therapeutic cure for pancreatic cancer.

Dr. David Ross, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at UCDHS, investigates the mechanisms by which antitumor quinones display selective toxicity to human tumor cells. Of particular interest is the enzyme NAD(P)H: quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQ01), also known as DT-diaphorase, which detoxifies a broad range of environmental toxins and bioactivates certain antitumor agents leading to DNA damage and death of tumor cells.Through research in his own lab and that of other groups, Dr. Ross observed that pancreatic cancers contain high levels of NQ01, that NQ01 directly scavenges superoxide when overexpressed, and that non-specific inhibitors of NQ01 were active in preclinical models of pancreatic cancer. These studies indicated that specific inhibitors of NQO1 might be useful therapeutic agents for pancreatic cancer. Dr. Ross has devloped a novel compound and derivatives that specifically inhibit the enzyme NQ01. These inhibitors have been shown to kill pancreatic cancer cells in culture and have potential as a therapeutic for the treatment of pancreatic cancer.

Development of AlphaSniffer's Holographic Interferometry technology in last year has proceeded along a serpentine and exciting path. Originally intended to address airborne chemical and biological threats in homeland defense and military theatres, the technology has demonstrated itself even more versatile for application in larger markets than governmental agencies. Having completed a Phase I SBIR sponsored by NASA for detection of atmospheric contaminants aboard space vessels, the technology was pushed even further into liquid phase analyses. Although the founders originally believed that most of the technology's power relied upon bulk changes in transducer properties - data from these experiments demonstrated that molecular surface interactions could yield more useful signal levels. Collaboration with Dr. John "Jan" Hall, recent Physics Nobel Laureate and JILA Fellow and Senior Research Associate, yielded another surface analysis technique called the Common Path Interferometer, which complements AlphaSniffer's approach and was presented and published in parallel with holographic interferometry at the recent IEEE/Sensors 2005 conference.

These discoveries paved the way for investigation into molecular diagnostic applications, including DNA chips for the cancer management, blood banking and point of care infectious disease markets. Application of the technology in these areas is particularly compelling given its strengths, which include elimination of the need for expensive fluorescent or other types of labels, the opportunity of truly parallel array analyses based on its innate optical output format, and hybridization analysis times on the order of seconds instead of hours given the holographic crystal's time dependence.

Vern Norviel, former corporate counsel for Affymetrix and current partner at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati in Palo Alto, recently visited AlphaSniffer and will be providing patent services. Vern is also Vice-Chair of CU Engineering School Advisory Council and graduate of CU Chemical Eng. department. His legal firm became minority shareholder of AlphaSniffer.

As of the beginning of November, AlphaSniffer was awarded a $95,000 Phase I SBIR grant from the National Science Foundation to investigate application of its interferometric techniques integrated with magnetic nanoparticles for real time airborne detection of disease-causing organisms such as the Avian Flu virus and E. coli. Current collaborators on the NSF grant include another TTO spinout ALD NanoSolutions and CU's MCDB Professor Dr. Michael Stowell.

Search our database for licenseable CU Technologies

Upcoming Events

Technology Transfer Third Annual Awards Event

January 10, 2006 - The fourth annual TTO awards event will be held the late afternoon and evening of January 10, 2006. The sponsor of the event is the law firm of Hensley Kim & Edgington, LLC, Denver. The venue is the Turnhalle located in the Historic Tivoli Brewery at the University of Colorado, Denver campus. This event celebrates people and companies that are illustrative of the outstanding year experienced by technology transfer at CU.

David Allen to Speak at Upcoming International Business Forum Conference

February 2-3, 2006 - Capturing Technology Innovation Through Corporate Partnering, Strategic Investing & IP Commercialization. For corporations facing the challenges of today's realities, this conference will provide an opportunity to network with key industry leaders. Attendees will hear the key fundamentals in successful corporate investing programs, alliances and commercialization process. This conference will provide an opportunity for corporate investors to network and share investing strategies and discuss options for portfolio companies and investing programs. (more)

Innovation in the News

Univ. of Minnesota to Pull Plug on Genomics Company

John Haaland has been racing the clock for the past year, struggling to raise enough capital to launch a clinical trial for a potentially revolutionary technology. Now the CEO of biotech startup Discovery Genomics Inc. is out of time and faces the loss of his company's most prized asset -- licenses to University of Minnesota research in gene therapy.

UT Takes Millions in Patent Battles: Arlington Campus Fights Cell Phone Makers Over Text-Message Technology

A patent granted 18 years ago to a University of Texas-Arlington professor is producing millions of dollars in royalty payments. The UT System has brought in $2.14 million from 10 companies it sued for infringing on a software patent that today is widely used in sending mobile text messages.

Bioscience Betters Beer, October 25, 2005, Wisconsin State Journal

A report shows bioscience research and industry provide jobs for more than 26,000 people in Wisconsin and add more than $6.9 billion to the state's economy. That tops the $6.8 billion contribution the brewery industry provides the state, based on the Beer Institute's projections, according to the report Bioscience Wisconsin 2006.

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