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Harvard University, Neopharm, NIH, NYBA, UAlbany Center for Functional Genomics, DiscoveRx, SEBio, Brown University, MIT

Harvard Licenses Vaccine, Drug Tech to ‘MEND’ Patients in Developing Countries
Harvard University's Office of Technology Development and non-profit firm Medicine in Need have entered into a licensing agreement to bring vaccine and drug products to people in developing countries, Harvard said last week.
Initial efforts will focus on tuberculosis and are expected to expand rapidly to other infectious diseases, Harvard said.
Under the terms of the deal, Harvard has granted a royalty-free license to MEND for work relating to drugs and vaccines geared toward developing countries. MEND is also pursuing commercial markets in the developed world for the sole purpose of supporting its charitable mission, and will pay Harvard a royalty on these revenues.
Under a “gift-back” mechanism, most of these payments will be donated by Harvard back to MEND to support its nonprofit effort to develop advanced treatments and preventative therapies for diseases of poverty, Harvard said.
MEND is a non-profit drug delivery technology platform corporation that combines proprietary compound formulations with low-cost, high-throughput spray drying technologies to turn injectable drugs and vaccines into dry powders for delivery via pulmonary, oral, and injectable routes.

Neopharm Licenses Respiratory Pre-Drug From NIH
Neopharm last week said that it has licensed the rights to develop the small molecule cintredekin besudotox from the National Institutes of Health for the treatment of pulmonary fibrosis and asthma.
Neopharm said that pre-clinical trials of cintredekin besudotox performed at NIH, the US Food and Drug Administration, and the University of Michigan have demonstrated reversal of disease and related scarring in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis animal models when the drug is inhaled.
Financial terms of the licensing agreement were not disclosed.

NYBA Opens Albany Office at UAlbany Center for Functional Genomics
The New York Biotechnology Association last week said that it has opened an office in Albany to be housed in the Center for Functional Genomics at the University of Albany’s East campus.
NYBA said that the new office will serve as a contact point for NYBA’s public policy initiatives and as a center for outreach for NYBA throughout central New York.
NYBA also maintains offices in New York City and Stony Brook.

DiscoveRx Wins $15K Grant to Commercialize Tech in Florida’s Leon County
DiscoveRx is one of three companies to win a technology commercialization grant from the Leon County Research and Development Authority in Florida, the Tallahassee Democrat reported last week.
DiscoveRx will receive $15,000 from the Innovation Park Technology Commercialization Grant program to expand its research-based products and services into the commercial arena in Leon County, according to the report.
Based in Fremont, Calif., DiscoveRx will use the grant for office and lab space and to develop marketing materials, according to Karunya Kandimalla, president of R&D at the company and a professor at Florida A&M University’s School of Pharmacy.
DiscoveRx develops, manufactures, and sells reagents and complete assay kits for the drug discovery and screening markets. It was awarded the grant along with engineering firm Comm-Engines and information technology company Seva Technologies.

SEBio Names Finalists in Biotech Business Plan Competition
Southeast BIO, a regional nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering growth of the Southeast’s life sciences industry, last week announced 10 finalists in its first annual BIO/Plan competition.
According to SEBio, the finalists were selected from more than 50 applications, and represent a wide range of technologies including small molecule therapeutics, biologics, diagnostics, and medical devices. Finalists hailed from schools including Duke University, Emory University, Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Florida, and the University of Virginia.
Small mentoring teams comprising venture capitalists, angel investors, and biotech entrepreneurs with relevant experience have been assigned to each finalist. Each finalist will submit written business plans to a panel of judges, and a winner will be announced at the Ninth Annual SEBio Investor Forum to be held Nov. 7-8 in Pinehurst, NC.
The winner will be awarded an estimated $100,000 prize to implement its business plan, SEBio said.
A full list of the finalists can be found on the SEBio website.

Brown, MIT Win US Patent Exclusively Licensed to Cyberkinetics
Cyberkinetics Neurotechnology Systems last week said that the United States Patent and Trademark Office recently issued US Patent No. 7,212,851, “Microstructured arrays for cortex interaction and related methods of manufacture and use.”
The patent was awarded to Brown University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, from whom Cyberkinetics has taken exclusive license to the IP for use in its BrainGate neural interface technology.
Cyberkinetics, of Foxborough, Mass., is a medical device company focused on developing implantable products to treat neurological diseases and injuries of the central nervous system.

The Scan

Pig Organ Transplants Considered

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration may soon allow clinical trials that involve transplanting pig organs into humans.

'Poo-Bank' Proposal

Harvard Medical School researchers suggest people should bank stool samples when they are young to transplant when they later develop age-related diseases.

Spurred to Develop Again

New Scientist reports that researchers may have uncovered why about 60 percent of in vitro fertilization embryos stop developing.

Science Papers Examine Breast Milk Cell Populations, Cerebral Cortex Cellular Diversity, Micronesia Population History

In Science this week: unique cell populations found within breast milk, 100 transcriptionally distinct cell populations uncovered in the cerebral cortex, and more.