Leading Research Institutions Release Tech-Transfer Guidelines
A group of leading research universities and the Association of American Medical Colleges last week released a set of guidelines for protecting the public interest when licensing university-developed technologies to private parties.
The white paper, entitled “In the Public Interest: Nine Points to Consider in Licensing University Technology” – aims to encourage technology transfer agreements to facilitate broad development and dissemination of university-generated technologies, according to a statement from Stanford University, one of the authoring institutions.
“It may very well be the first document that comes from the community that suggests a set of good practices for the rest of the community,” Katherine Ku, director of technology licensing at Stanford, said in a statement.
Stanford said that the white paper grew out of a meeting on its campus last July, which brought together university research officers and technology licensing directors from leading US research institutions.
In addition to Stanford, the paper was signed by the California Institute of Technology; Cornell University; Harvard University; Massachusetts Institute of Technology; the University of California system; the University of Illinois, Chicago and UI-Urbana-Champaign; University of Washington; Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation; and Yale University; as well as the AAMC.
The paper suggests the following nine points:
- Universities should reserve the right to practice licensed inventions, and to allow other nonprofit and governmental organizations to do so.
- Exclusive licenses should be structured in a manner that encourages technology development and use.
- Strive to minimize the licensing of "future improvements."
- Universities should anticipate and help to manage technology transfer related conflicts of interest.
- Ensure broad access to research tools.
- Enforcement action should be carefully considered.
- Be mindful of export regulations.
- Be mindful of the implications of working with patent aggregators.
- Consider including provisions that address unmet needs, such as those of neglected patient populations or geographic areas, giving particular attention to improved therapeutics, diagnostics, and agricultural technologies for the developing world.
Enzo Biochem Receives Favorable Judgment from USPTO in Nucleic Acid Case
Enzo Biochem last week said that the Board of Patents and Interferences of the US Patent and Trademark Office has judged in favor of its patent application for nucleic acid signal amplification over a pair of patents owned by Princeton University, after Princeton had conceded priority to Enzo.
According to Enzo, in an interference declared by the USPTO in August, Enzo was named the senior party and Princeton – which owned US Patent Nos. 4,882,269 and 5,424,188 – was named the junior party. Princeton had licensed the ‘269 patent to Chiron, which subsequently licensed it to Bayer Healthcare.
At the same time, the USPTO declared another interference involving the same technology, naming Enzo subsidiary Enzo Life Sciences the senior party against Chiron, the junior party, and Chiron’s US Patent No. 5,124,246, also licensed to Bayer. That interference is still pending, Enzo said.
“We believe this development further clarifies the historic accouint of which party first invented nucleic acid signal amplification technology,” Elazar Rabbani, Enzo’s chairmand and CEO, said in a statement.
The technology in question is the basis for several products in clinical diagnostics and life sciences marketed or licensed by several companies. Among these products are the VERSANT branched DNA assays sold by the diagnostics division of Bayer Healthcare, which was recently acquired by Siemens Medical Solutions.
Vaxiion and SDSU Publish Research on ‘Mimic’ Vaccine
Researchers from Vaxiion Therapeutics and San Diego State University have published research describing a “minicell” vaccine delivery system designed to improve the safety, cost, and efficiency of vaccination against infectious diseases.
While most vaccines contain live microorganisms, the minicell vaccine mimics a live pathogen response without the risk of infection, Vaxiion said in a statement. The vaccine will thus be particularly suited for immunizing children, the elderly, and the immunocompromised.
In the research paper, published in the March 8 issue of Vaccine, the scientists created a vaccine against the lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus, which causes a lethal form of meningitis in mice. The minicell vaccine conferred approximately 89-percent immunity to the virus.
Vaxiion, a biotech company started by SDSU biologist Roger Sabbadini, supplied the primary funding for the research.
Consulting Firm Destum Partners Joins LES
Destum Partners, a Charlotte, NC-based financial consulting firm, last week said that it has joined the Licensing Executives Society.
Licensing is one of Destum’s core services, the company said, and its affiliation with LES will help it work with companies seeking to in- or out-license products and technology.
“Joining LES will allow us to liaise more efficiently with licensing executives globally, which in turn will translate into an expedited timeline for certain components within our licensing process,” David Teifer, managing director and co-founder of Destum, said in a statement.
Destum Partners provides consulting and advisory services with an emphasis on financial and market analytics, strategic partnering, and acquisitions within the life sciences sector.