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U of Kentucky spearheads online platforms that match university start-ups with entrepreneurs


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: August 15th, 2018

The University of Kentucky (UK) has launched two online platforms to connect seasoned entrepreneurs with university start-ups in need of expert management. The initiative involves not only UK, but all SEC universities and 11 Midwestern schools collaborating to connect stronger leadership talent to their new ventures.

The Southeast Executives-on-Roster (XOR) and Midwest XOR platforms include 14 Southeastern Conference (SEC) schools and 11 Midwest universities. Under the leadership of UK’s Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC), the universities have vetted and recruited entrepreneurs and start-ups to participate in the programs.

“Cities in the Southeast and Midwest have relatively fewer entrepreneurs and investors with specific industry talent and expertise,” says Ian McClure, director of UK’s OTC. “To fill this need, SEC and Midwest universities are approaching this challenge cooperatively by filling a critical talent gap for early-stage companies that will attract that capital.”

Currently, over 50 university start-ups and more than 70 entrepreneurs have been granted access to the XOR portals.

“This initiative will greatly enhance the ability of our entrepreneurs to realize the goal of commercialization of their endeavors,” says Lisa Cassis, vice president for research at UK. “It is especially exciting for its potential to spearhead collaborations across participating universities.”

Source: UK Now

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Webinar next week: Antibody Patenting and Licensing Challenges in Light of Amgen v. Sanofi


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: August 15th, 2018

Over the past decade, multiple patents on therapeutic antibodies have been invalidated in the courts, often for lack of written description — and it won’t be getting any easier after the Amgen v. Sanofi Fed Circuit decision. The case indicated that even for a new class of antibodies, the written description requirement can be met only through the disclosure of a “sufficient” number of representative antibodies — including highly specific amino acid sequences. Adding to the challenge is the retroactive application of the ruling, leaving billions in antibody patents at risk.

Research universities invest millions of dollars in discovering and developing antibodies, and they — and their potential licensees — are faced with uncertainty and heightened risk in the wake of these developments.

That’s why Technology Transfer Tactics’ Distance Learning Division has tapped biotech patent expert Kevin E. Noonan, PhD, to lead this critically important webinar: Antibody Patenting and Licensing Challenges in Light of Amgen v. Sanofi, scheduled for next Thursday, August 23rd.

For complete program details and to register, CLICK HERE.

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Start-up lands two new partners in bid to advance gene therapy for treating cystic fibrosis


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: August 15th, 2018

A start-up in the UK is working to commercialize a novel gene therapy that treats patients with cystic fibrosis and has established two new key partnerships. continue reading »

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Successful start-ups take a problem-first approach to innovation


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: August 15th, 2018

In her recent post for Forbes, tech writer Gemma Milne asserts that the key to innovation is to identify a problem, not just a discovery. continue reading »

Still not a Technology Transfer Tactics subscriber?

CLICK HERE for a free sample issue and see the kind in-depth, practical guidance and best practices you and your TTO have been missing out on.

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U of Minnesota to release new early-ripening apple variety


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: August 15th, 2018

Researchers at the University of Minnesota (UMN) have developed a new breed of apple that is ready to harvest earlier than its parent, the wildly popular Honeycrisp. continue reading »

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VCU researchers develop cheaper, more efficient solar power technology


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: August 15th, 2018

Researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) have created a material that could make solar power cheaper, much more efficient, and more accessible. continue reading »

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The Guide to Intellectual Property Valuation


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: August 15th, 2018

The Guide to Intellectual Property Valuation is the definitive resource to help you draw credible and defensible conclusions regarding IP valuation. Leading IP valuation expert Mike Pellegrino, founder of Pellegrino & Associates, delivers real-world case studies of IP valuation analyses from start to finish in each of the primary IP categories. This practical, hands-on guide presents an objective framework for conducting due diligence of IP rights, performing sound legal analysis, and correlating the impact of IP rights on value.

In the Guide to Intellectual Property Valuation you’ll also find advanced tools that will help you navigate common landmines and arrive at supportable, optimum valuations for your innovations. This is not your typical IP valuation text. It goes far beyond the basics of IP valuation, theoretical models, or accounting gimmickry. And you won’t find rehashed topics already covered thoroughly in other resources. This guide provides you with a deeper, more practical analysis that the critical task of IP valuation demands. For complete details and to order, CLICK HERE.

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North Dakota State U licenses novel compound that reduces the size of cancerous tumors


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: August 15th, 2018

The North Dakota State University (NDSU) Research Foundation has licensed out compounds that have shown to significantly reduce the size of tumors in multiple cancers. continue reading »

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Purdue researchers develop non-invasive method of detecting harmful metals in the body


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: August 15th, 2018

Purdue University researchers have developed a technology that could reduce the number of people impacted by health problems associated with the accumulation of metals in the body. continue reading »

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Comings and goings


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: August 15th, 2018

Colorado State University (CSU) has chosen tech transfer expert David Paterson to serve as assistant vice president for research, translation and commercialization. In his new role, Paterson will work to expand industry sponsored research and relations at CSU. He will also review and improve the ways the university engages with industry, as well as provide guidance to the university’s research facilities and colleges in creating new industry partnerships.

Paterson has spent the past nine years at Impax Laboratories leading a range of business and corporate development projects. He has also served as director of U.S. academic liaison at GlaxoSmithKline, where he established tech licensing agreements and created research alliances and collaborations.

“We are excited to add David Paterson to our senior leadership team,” says Alan Rudolph, vice president for research at CSU. “His experience in establishing global industry partnerships during his long tenure in industry will greatly facilitate translation and commercialization of high-impact CSU research.”

Source: Colorado State University

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Leverage tools to pull potential licensees into the “marketing funnel”


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: August 8th, 2018

Given the burgeoning array of internet-based tools, how do you optimize a marketing strategy for early-stage assets? Most agree that nothing beats face-to-face communications in terms of effectiveness, but such a strategy can only go so far when you’ve got hundreds of technologies in search of a match.

Many TTOs are finding that a mix of in-person interactions, web-based marketing, and social media-driven approaches all bring different benefits to the table. Despite the array of options, however, experts note that too many promising technologies are withering in place because of all-too-common marketing mistakes.

Just getting a handle on a wide array of different types of assets can be challenging. Given the importance of this task, however, Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures (JHTV) in Baltimore has established a commercialization strategies group whose sole purpose is to dive into the evaluation process, explained Kellin Krick, a corporate partnerships associate at JHTV.

“We have a huge volume of technologies we are dealing with on a yearly basis, and we have recognized that there is an immense value to having a group that is purely dedicated to figuring out who is operating in a [particular] space, what is [each] technology, what can it become and who may be interested in ultimately engaging with us to take the technology forward,” noted Krick. “The evaluation process starts immediately when a technology comes into the office. That is how much we value this type of process.”

Faculty inventors are a key first step in each evaluation process, advised Krick. “They are the subject matter experts and often they will actually have more knowledge about who the major players in a [particular field] are — whether it is other researchers doing similar research or potential industry collaborators that they have engaged with at academic meetings,” he said. “We definitely leverage [faculty] as much as possible and we work directly with our licensing and IP teams and support their efforts to get those technologies out the door.”

Bob Bondaryk, the head of Ximbio, a large, research-tools non-profit that is headquartered in London, breaks down the job of marketing technologies into three phases which are all part of what he terms the marketing funnel. “The first thing you need to do is let people know what you have. They need to be able to find some way to understand what it is that is actually available, and this is the awareness phase,” he said.

The next phase involves potential licensees determining whether the technologies on offer have any relevance to their interests and actually fit a need. “That is where a licensee’s journey takes them into the evaluation phase, and it is a completely separate view from just recognizing something as unique and available,” noted Bondaryk.

He added that the last phase in the marketing funnel is the part everyone wants to get to — closing the deal. Viewed from this perspective, the job of promoting and licensing technology has become more challenging in recent years because this marketing funnel has become much more sophisticated, said Bondaryk. For instance, he pointed out that years ago the marketing function was primarily just involved with creating awareness, but today potential licensees are combining their first awareness-building of these opportunities with their evaluation phase. “They don’t even want to talk to you until they are almost all the way down to having made a decision already, so they are much more mature in their thinking,” he said.

Unfortunately, way too many assets are languishing on hard-to-find “available technology” web pages, and then they are often described by layers of jargon that keep their true value well-hidden. “Some folks do a great job; their [technology pages] are clear and well-curated. But others you wouldn’t believe how difficult it is to find the available technology page. Sometimes it’s a tiny little link buried in a paragraph somewhere,” noted Bondaryk. “It amazes me sometimes how difficult we make the awareness-building and the evaluation phases.”

If you make it difficult to enter the top of the funnel, the technologies will never be found, let alone licensed, advised Bondaryk. Consequently, TTOs need to think about prioritizing the ease with which potential licensees can find where available technologies are posted and recognize assets that might suit their needs.

A detailed article on TTO marketing strategies appears in the July issue of Technology Transfer Tactics. To subscribe and access the full article, as well as the publication’s rich, 11-year archive of best practices and success strategies for tech transfer professionals, CLICK HERE.

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U of Toronto program helps cardiovascular researchers launch their own start-ups


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: August 8th, 2018

A program launched at the University of Toronto (U of T) is accelerating the commercialization of cardiovascular research through start-up activity. continue reading »

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