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AUTM, Alnylam, Isis, UTEK, CytoDyn, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Lorry Lokey, Stanford, Colorado Bioscience Association, TEDCO, Xpention Genetics, UTHSCSA, MD Anderson

AUTM Releases 2005 US and Canadian Licensing Survey Summaries
AUTM last week announced the release of its 2005 US and Canadian Licensing Survey Summaries, which provide quantitative data and real-world examples of licensing activities at US and Canadian universities, hospitals, and research institutions.
Highlights from the 2005 US Licensing Survey include: more than $42 billion in R&D expenditures at US academic centers; 527 new products introduced into the market in 2005, and a total of 3,641 introduced from 1998 through 2005; 626 new spinoffs in 2005, and a total of 5,171 since 1980; and 4,932 new licenses signed in 2005.
Emory University ranked first among reporting institutions in commercialization revenue for fiscal years 2003 to 2005, with approximately $586 million (see related story, this issue). The University of California system led the way in patenting and licensing with 310 US patents issued, and 265 licenses and options executed.
The 2005 Canadian Licensing Survey results showed that more than CAN $52 million ($44 million) in licensing income was generated for FY 2003 to 2005.

Alnylam, Isis Win First US Patent for Human miRNAs Based on Max Planck Research
Alnylam Pharmaceuticals and Isis Pharmaceuticals last week said that the US Patent and Trademark Office has allowed claims in a patent application covering microRNAs and therapeutic molecules that target miRNAs.
The USPTO issued a notice of allowance for patent application No. 10/490,555, which is derived from the “Tuschl III” patent series licensed co-exclusively and worldwide to Alnylam and Isis through an agreement with Max-Planck-Innovation, the licensing agent for the Max Planck Society.
The Tuschl III patent series pertains to the discovery of more than 120 mammalian miRNAs and stems from research conducted by Alnylam founder Thomas Tuschl, currently an associate professor at Rockefeller University, while he was employed by the Max Planck Society.

UTEK Reports 18-Percent Spike in Q4 Revenues; Authorizes $4M Stock Repurchase
UTEK, a specialty finance company focused on commercializing technologies from universities and research laboratories, last week reported a 18-percent increase in fourth-quarter revenues year over year.
For the fourth quarter of 2006, the company reported revenues of $8.5 million as compared to $7.2 million in Q4 2005. UTEK also saw its net income rise to $2.5 million in Q4 2006 from $1.95 million in year-ago period.
UTEK also said that it logged $57 million in revenues for the year ended Dec. 31, 2006, a nearly 148-percent increase from $23 million in 2005. The Tampa, Fla.-based firm said that it significantly expanded its technology transfer business in 2006, completing 29 tech transfers with average revenues of $1.8 million, as compared to 14 tech transfers completed in 2005, with average revenues of $1.3 million.
Separately, UTEK said that its board of directors has authorized UTEK to repurchase from time to time in the open market up to $4 million shares of its common stock over the next year.

UTEK and CytoDyn Complete Transfer of mAb HIV Therapy Developed at Harvard Med Research Institute
UTEK also said this month that CytoDyn has acquired Advanced Genetic Technologies, a wholly owned subsidiary of UTEK, in a stock transaction worth an undisclosed sum.
Advanced Genetic Technologies holds the exclusive worldwide licenses for monoclonal antibodies TS1-18 and TS1-22, and non-exclusive rights to the bacterial plasmid 8630. These technologies were developed by Timothy Springer, a senior investigator at the CBR Institute for Biomedical Research, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School.
CytoDyn intends to use the antibodies for targeted immune therapy for HIV/AIDS as a potential solution to the problem of multidrug-resistant strains of the virus, the companies said. The bacterial plasmid is envisioned as a potential diagnostic and screening tool for HIV/AIDS therapies, the companies added.

RPI and Albany Law to Offer Joint Master’s Degree in Tech Transfer
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Lally School of Management and Technology and Albany Law School will begin offering two master’s degree programs in the areas of technology transfer and commercialization, the schools said last week.
The degree programs – a master of science in legal studies with a concentration in technology transfer at Albany Law; and a master of science in commercialization of technology at RPI – will both begin in the fall of this year.
The Albany Law MS program will include legal courses such as trademarks, contracts, patents, and licensing, as well as business courses from the Lally School such as valuation of technology, fundamentals of technology marketing, and tax aspects of tech transfer. The Lally School program will recruit students primarily from Rensselaer’s undergraduate programs in management, biomedical engineering, materials science, architecture, computer science, product design and innovation, and cognitive psychology.

Lorry Lokey Donates $33M to Build Stem Cell Institute at Stanford
Lorry Lokey, the founder of Business Wire and a Stanford alum, will give a minimum of $33 million to help build a home for Stanford’s Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, the school said this week.
Lokey’s contribution to Stanford’s School of Medicine is the single largest gift to date from an individual, and will be used to fund construction of stem cell laboratories on campus, Stanford said.

Colorado Bioscience Association Announces Recipients of $2M Matching Grants Program
The Colorado Bioscience Association last month announced 27 recipients of $2 million in matching grants to six Colorado-based universities and research institutions.
The grants stem from legislation initiated by CBSA in 2006, and signed into law by Governor Bill Owens that same year. The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade in turn administered the grants.
“The legislation appropriated $2 million for bioscience proof of concept work on technologies showing promise for commercialization,” Representative Jim Reisberg (D-Greeley), one of the co-sponsors of the legislation, said in a statement. “Research institutions are eligible for up to $150,000 per grant. However, they must provide a one-to-one match for each funded project. We expect these projects will result in five to 10 new companies for our state in the years ahead.”
Grant recipients include multiple researchers at the University of Colorado, Colorado State University, National Jewish Medical and Research Center, Belle Bonfils Blood Center, University of Denver, and University of Northern Colorado.
Full summaries of the research projects can be found here.

TEDCO Awards $450K to Six Maryland Companies, Including $75K to Biotech Startups
The Maryland Technology Development Corp. last month awarded six Maryland technology companies $450,000 in combined funding to foster tech transfer in the state.
The $450K comes from the organization’s Maryland Technology Transfer Fund, a program designed to help businesses transfer and commercialize technologies from Maryland universities and federal laboratories.
Among the award recipients were Hygea Biopharma of Gaithersburg, which won $75,000 to develop a vaccine against infectious bursal disease virus in chickens with the University of Maryland School of Veterinary Medicine; and Immunomic Therapeutics of Gaithersburg, which won $75,000 and is working with Johns Hopkins to license a protein to use as a novel enhancement for DNA vaccines.

Xpention Genetics and UTHSCSA Extend Research for Biomarker Licensed from MD Anderson
Xpention Genetics has extended a research agreement with the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio through May 2007 related to a cancer biomarker licensed from the University of Texas’ MD Anderson Cancer Center, Xpention said recently.
The extension will permit completion of research activities for the development of a p65 immunological test in collaboration with UTHSCSA’s Margaret Hanausek, one of the co-inventors of the p65 technology.
Hanausek will be able to work on additional research projects involving the technology for cancer detection in canines and humans. A cancer test under development will use the technology, which was licensed by Xpention from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

The Scan

mRNA-Based Vaccine on the Way in China

China may soon have its own mRNA-based vaccine, according to Nature News.

Arranged Killing, Fraud Alleged by Prosecutors

The Wall Street Journal reports that prosecutors allege that the co-founder of a biotech arranged to have a business associate who threatened to expose him as a fraud killed.

Whirlwind Decade of CRISPR

The New York Times looks back at the 10 years since the University of California, Berkeley's Jennifer Doudna and her colleagues published their CRISPR paper.

PNAS Papers on Blue Cone Monochromacy Structural Variants, HIV-1 Mutant, T-ALL

In PNAS this week: structural variants linked to blue cone monochromacy, HIV-1 variants affecting the matrix protein p17, and more.