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Maryland Technology Development Corporation, University of Maryland-Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University, Emory University, Alimera Sciences, Edgeline Holdings, Oncolin Therapeutics, Advanced Viral Research, Northeastern University, Rexahn Pharmaceuticals,

TEDCO Doles Out $45K to Trio of University Startups
The Maryland Technology Development Corporation said this week that it has provided three university-based research teams, including one in the biotechnology sector, with $15,000 each through its TechStart program to help assess the viability of creating a startup company around specific technologies.
To be eligible for TechStart funding, teams must include an inventor willing to assist in evaluating the feasibility of a startup; an experienced entrepreneur to provide business guidance; and a technology transfer manager.
The biotech research team receiving TechStart funding comprises Scott Strome, chair of otorhinolaryngology at the University of Maryland-Baltimore, and inventor; David Block, entrepreneur; and Elizabeth Good, director of strategic investments at UMB, to assess the commercial viability of “Trojan” peptide cancer therapeutic vaccines.
TechStart also funded a team from Johns Hopkins University to determine the commercial viability for a technology designed to improve groundwater monitoring; and from the University of Maryland-Baltimore County to assess the commercial potential of web-based software for developing notes pertaining to specific documents or other files.

Emory Grants Alimera Option to License Small Molecules for Opthalmic Diseases
Emory University has granted Alimera Sciences an option to take an exclusive, worldwide license to a class of small molecule compounds called triphenylmethanes as a potential treatment for ocular disorders such as diabetic retinothapy and dry age-related macular degeneration.
This is the second agreement between Alimera and Emory related to oxidative stress management as a treatment for ophthalmic diseases. The first, announced in September 2007, gave Alimera the option to license NADPH oxidase inhibitors for similar treatments.
If the option is exercised, Alimera will hold a worldwide, exclusive license for the triphenylmethanes for ophthalmic indications. Also included in the agreement is an exclusive right to sublicense the technology in ophthalmology applications and an exclusive option for non-ophthalmic use.
Alimera will be responsible for development and commercialization of the compounds, while Emory will receive milestone payments and royalties from net sales.

Edgeline Holdings Changes Name, Licenses IP for Synthesizing Cancer Compounds
Edgeline Holdings said last week said it has changed its name to Oncolin Therapeutics, and has taken a license to a patent that involves the synthesis of 2-deoxy sugars and their derivatives.
Edgeline did not disclose from whom it licensed the patent.
The news follows an announcement earlier this year that Edgeline had obtained an exclusive option agreement from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center providing the company with the right to negotiate a license over a nine-month period for five technologies related to treating various cancers.
In addition, Edgeline recently said that it had entered into a joint development agreement with Houston Pharmaceuticals to assist the company in obtaining a license for certain related patents, several of which are from the Universities of Mississippi and Louisiana.
Edgeline said that the newly licensed patent provides processes to synthesize compounds that would otherwise be difficult and expensive to prepare with high purity and stereoselectivity. Edgeline said that these compounds are the lead drugs in its antimetabolite development program for treating cancers, in particular brain tumors.

Advanced Viral Research and Northeastern Pen Cancer Drug Research Pact
Advanced Viral Research this week announced a research agreement with Northeastern University related to cancer drug development.
Specifically, scientists from ADVR, based in Yonkers, NY, will work with researchers in NU’s department of chemistry and chemical biology to identify how compounds such as AVR118, a Phase II clinical candidate, interact with clinically relevant molecular targets associated with cancer.
The research agreement is also designed to apply ADVR’s AFP technology to identify new compounds with anti-cancer activity, the company said.
Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Rexahn and UM-Baltimore Win $218K MIPS Grant to Develop Cancer Therapies
Rexahn Pharmaceuticals this week said that it has been awarded a grant for $218,000 from the Maryland Industrial Partnerships Program.
With the grant, researchers at Rexahn and the University of Maryland Baltimore will continue their development of polymer-drug conjugates for cancer therapy, for the targeted delivery of cancer drugs.
The most recent MIPS grant follows a similar grant received by Rexahn and UMB last year to initiate this development project.
The MIPS program is designed to accelerate the commercialization of technology in Maryland by jointly funding collaborative R&D projects between companies and University System of Maryland faculty.

University of Michigan Wins Patent for Breast Cancer Dx Tech
Abviva said this week that it holds the rights to a patent the US Patent and Trademark office recently issued to the University of Michigan related to the core technology used in its breast cancer diagnostic, the Mammastatin Serum Assay.
The patent, entitled “Methods and Compostion for Diagnosing Breast Cancer,” is the most recent of the patents in the Mammastatin IP portfolio to issue to UM for breast cancer diagnostic and therapeutic uses.
Abviva is the exclusive licensee of diagnostic uses for Mammastatin in the patent portfolio owned by UM. Under the license, Abviva also has the exclusive option to license the therapeutic uses of Mammastatin from the university.
The MSA is designed to be a simple blood test that identifies and measures the amount of Mammastatin in women.

The Scan

Transcriptomic, Epigenetic Study Appears to Explain Anti-Viral Effects of TB Vaccine

Researchers report in Science Advances on an interferon signature and long-term shifts in monocyte cell DNA methylation in Bacille Calmette-Guérin-vaccinated infant samples.

DNA Storage Method Taps Into Gene Editing Technology

With a dual-plasmid system informed by gene editing, researchers re-wrote DNA sequences in E. coli to store Charles Dickens prose over hundreds of generations, as they recount in Science Advances.

Researchers Model Microbiome Dynamics in Effort to Understand Chronic Human Conditions

Investigators demonstrate in PLOS Computational Biology a computational method for following microbiome dynamics in the absence of longitudinally collected samples.

New Study Highlights Role of Genetics in ADHD

Researchers report in Nature Genetics on differences in genetic architecture between ADHD affecting children versus ADHD that persists into adulthood or is diagnosed in adults.