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Fundamental Applied Biology, National Science Foundation, Maryland Technology Development Corporation, University of Maryland-Baltimore, Kinetic Concepts, Wake Forest University Health Sciences, Genzyme, Moffitt Cancer Center, Morphotek, Ludwig Institute

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Stanford Spinout Fundamental Applied Biology Wins $500K SBIR Grant
 
Fundamental Applied Biology, a 2004 spinout of Stanford University, this week said it has been awarded a $500K Phase IIb Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Science Foundation to further develop its cell-free protein synthesis technology.
 
FAB said that it successfully demonstrated that certain proteins could be made in a cell-free system in a soluble form and in a controllable and efficient fashion during Phase I and Phase II of prior NSF-funded Small Business Technology Transfer projects.
 
FAB also said that it will use the Phase IIb grant to develop its technology with the goal of producing a therapeutic protein as its first product.
 
The company’s cell-free protein synthesis technology was developed by James Swartz, a professor of engineering, bioengineering, and chemical engineering at Stanford University, and a member of FAB’s board of directors.
 
In December, FAB completed a $21 million Series B financing round led by prior investor SV Life Sciences.
 

 
TEDCO Funds UMB-Developed IP Database for Mid-Atlantic Region
 
The Maryland Technology Development Corporation said this week that it has provided an unspecified amount of funding to support a new technology and intellectual property database called InvenioIP.
 
Launched late last year, InvenioIP contains 1,900 technologies from a broad range of disciplines, TEDCO said. Each technology summary provides a brief description of the technology, investigator contact information, potential applications, and licensing and patent information.
 
The web-based resource, available here, was developed at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, and allows free access to technologies available for commercialization from academic institutions, federal government research facilities, and private companies in Maryland; Washington, DC; and Virginia.
 
Specifically, InvenioIP lists technologies developed at Johns Hopkins University; the University of Maryland, Baltimore; the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute; the University of Maryland, College Park; the College of William and Mary; Georgetown University; US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command; and Avanti Therapeutics.
 
UMB said that it plans to expand the number of organizations posting entries, and is currently working with five universities and two companies to contribute to the database.
 

 
Kinetic Concepts and Wake Forest File IP Infringement Suit Against ITI
 
Kinetic Concepts and Wake Forest University Health Sciences have filed a joint patent infringement lawsuit against Innovative Therapies in the US District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, KCI said last week.
 
The complaint alleges that a negative pressure wound device recently introduced by ITI infringes three Wake Forest patents that are exclusively licensed to KCI.
 
KCI and Wake Forest are seeking damages and permanent injunctive relief in the case.
 
KCI also recently filed state court claims against ITI and three of its principals, all of whom were former employees of KCI, alleging breach of confidentiality agreements, conversion of KCI technology, theft of trade secrets, and conspiracy.
 

 
Genzyme Licenses Dx Rights to Moffitt Proteins for Lung Cancer Test
 
Genzyme said this week that it has licensed the diagnostic testing rights to two proteins from the Moffitt Cancer Center that it plans to develop into tests that could help predict patients’ response to non-small cell lung cancer treatments.
 
Tampa, Fla.-based Moffitt, designated a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute, has found that the proteins RRM1 and ERCC1 may help to predict the effectiveness of NSCLC treatments, because the expression levels of the proteins correlated to responses to two common drugs.
 
Genzyme, based in Cambridge, Mass., said it will develop and market a diagnostic test to measure the expression level of these proteins in NSCLC patients in order to help direct doctors trying to make first-line treatment decisions. Genzyme will provide Moffitt with milestone payments and royalties from the sale of any licensed products or services stemming from the research.
 

 
Morphotek Sponsors Ab Rx Research at Ludwig Institute
 
Morphotek, a subsidiary of Eisai, said this week that it has signed a collaborative research agreement with the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research.
 
Under the multi-year agreement, Morphotek will provide an unspecified amount of funding to LICR to develop model systems to validate pathways for human disease and conduct preclinical proof-of-concept studies to develop antibodies to block these disease pathways, the company said.
 
Morphotek’s lead therapeutic antibody, MORAb-003, currently in Phase II trials for ovarian cancer; and another antibody product, MORAb-004, in development for treating neovascular diseases, were both discovered by LICR researchers. Morphotek has exclusive licenses to both compounds.

The Scan

Dropped Charges

The US Justice Department has dropped visa fraud charges against five Chinese researchers, according to the Wall Street Journal.

More Kids

The Associated Press says Moderna is expanding its SARS-CoV-2 vaccine study to included additional children and may include even younger children.

PNAS Papers on Rat Clues to Human Migration, Thyroid Cancer, PolyG-DS

In PNAS this week: ancient rat genome analysis gives hints to human migrations, WDR77 gene mutations in thyroid cancer, and more.

Purnell Choppin Dies

Purnell Choppin, a virologist who led the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, has died at 91, according to the Washington Post.