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U of Minnesota, UT-Austin, and Fox Chase Compete Licensing Agreements

Following is a summary of recent notable licensing deals executed by academic or non-profit research institutions in biotechnology and life sciences.
Licensing Institution: University of Minnesota
Primary Inventors: Timothy Behrens, adjunct professor of medicine, University of Minnesota; Emily Gillespie, assistant professor of medicine, University of Minnesota; and Peter Gregersen, investigator and head, Center for Genomics and Human Genetics, The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research
Licensee: XDx, Brisbane, Calif.
Technology: Intellectual property related to the use of gene expression to assess the disease status of systemic lupus erythematosus patients. The technology will be applied to develop a diagnostic test for SLE based on XDx’s AlloMap molecular expression testing platform. XDx, the University of Minnesota, and The Feinstein Institute have also entered into a separate agreement that provides XDx access to SLE patient samples collected through an NIH-funded collaborative program to elucidate biomarkers of autoimmune diseases.

Licensing Institution: University of Texas at Austin
Primary Inventors: Nicholas Peppas, chair, department of engineering, UT-Austin; Mark Byrne, assistant professor, engineering, Auburn University; and Zach Hilt, assistant professor, chemicals and materials engineering, University of Kentucky
Licensee: Mimetic Solutions, Austin, Texas
Technology: Relates to Mimetic Solutions core technology, called Affinimer Chemistry, which allows for the creation of “chemically smart” polymers that can bind specific trigger molecules such as key biomarkers in a patient’s blood, and subsequently release a drug or other agent under pre-programmed conditions. A planned first application is a smart-release of insulin in response to blood glucose levels in diabetic patients.

Licensing Institution: Fox Chase Cancer Center
Primary Inventor: Unknown
Licensee: Cancer Research Technology, the US technology transfer arm of Cancer Research UK
Technology: A small-molecule inhibitor of an undisclosed kinase. The collaboration builds on a series of validated hit compounds identified by Fox Chase scientists. Hit-to-lead studies to optimize potency and drug-like characteristics of the compounds will be performed in CRT’s London labs, while small-molecule inhibitors generated by CRT will be characterized in secondary assays at Fox Chase.

The Scan

Genetic Testing Approach Explores Origins of Blastocyst Aneuploidy

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Study Looks at Parent Uncertainties After Children's Severe Combined Immunodeficiency Diagnoses

A qualitative study in EJHG looks at personal, practical, scientific, and existential uncertainties in parents as their children go through SCID diagnoses, treatment, and post-treatment stages.

Antimicrobial Resistance Study Highlights Key Protein Domains

By screening diverse versions of an outer membrane porin protein in Vibrio cholerae, researchers in PLOS Genetics flagged protein domain regions influencing antimicrobial resistance.

Latent HIV Found in White Blood Cells of Individuals on Long-Term Treatments

Researchers in Nature Microbiology find HIV genetic material in monocyte white blood cells and in macrophages that differentiated from them in individuals on HIV-suppressive treatment.