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Discovery Genomics Loses Rights to U of Minnesota Patents, Vows to Soldier On

NEW YORK, Oct. 19 (GenomeWeb News) - The University of Minnesota has revoked several licenses to key patents granted to Discovery Genomics because the company did not meet a fund-raising threshold agreed to when the company was founded, GenomeWeb News has learned.


John Haaland, president and CEO of the five-year-old University of Minnesota spin-off, told GenomeWeb News that the university had informed his company that it would revoke the licenses to the patents, which cover a method for injecting DNA into a chromosome. According to a report last week in the Twin Cities Business Journal, the university decided to revoke the IP after DGI fell short of its fund-raising goal of $5 million. Instead, DGI has raised $2 million, according to the Business Journal.


Haaland declined to confirm or deny the financial details of the tech-transfer agreement for GenomeWeb News, but said that his company planned to use the funding to commercialize tests for hemophilia or orphan diseases, and that the company will "wrestle with IP issues as they come along."  


"We as a company are going forward," Haaland said.


Representatives from the University of Minnesota's office of business development confirmed that a letter had been sent informing DGI that the licenses were due to expire. The university declined to provide any further comment. 


OBD director Doug Johnson told the Business Journal that the university will seek new partners to commercialize the patented DNA injection method.

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