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University of Colorado, Abbott, ImmuRx, Quidel, Drexel University, Axendia, Introgen, Renishaw, University of Strathclyde

U of Colorado Signs License Agreements With Abbott, ImmuRx, and Quidel
The University of Colorado said last week that it has recently signed licensing agreements for its intellectual property portfolio with Abbott Molecular, ImmuRx, and Quidel.
Abbott took an exclusive license to a diagnostic protocol for use in determining whether lung cancer patients will benefit from certain therapeutics. The protocol screens patients with non-small-cell lung cancer for extra copies of the epidermal growth factor receptor, which is linked to the efficacy of tyrosine kinase inhibitors.
Abbott has acquired worldwide rights to commercialize products using CU’s protocol and its own fluorescence in situ hybridization technology.
ImmuRx, meantime, has taken an exclusive license for an IP portfolio covering an immunotherapy adjuvant platform developed by Ross Kedl, an assistant professor in the department of immunology at UC Denver Health Sciences Center. 
The company plans to further develop the adjuvants, which are able to elevate the body’s immune response to tumor-specific antigens without the toxic side effects seen in current products.
CU signed two separate agreements with Quidel that grant the diagnostic firm exclusive, worldwide rights to two influenza detection technologies: the Anti-Viral Resistance Chip and the BChip.
Quidel plans to develop and market the AVR Chip, which detects the two most common mutations contributing to influenza drug resistance. Preliminary studies demonstrate a 95 percent success rate in the detection of influenza mutations known to result in drug resistance, CU said.
The BChip was designed to detect two influenza B virus strains (B/Victoria/2/87 and B/Yamagata/16/88), which are critical in determining seasonal influenza vaccines.

Drexel University Taps Axendia for Advice on Biotech Commercialization
Drexel University’s School of Biomedical Engineering, Science, and Health Systems has selected life science consulting firm Axendia to provide advisory services on technology commercialization, the company said last week.
“There are significant healthcare benefits in bringing promising technologies into commercialized products and clinical applications by enabling the collaboration between leading biomedical academic institutions and the private sector,” said Daniel Matlis, founder and president of Axendia, in a statement.

Introgen Gains Rights to Newly Issued UT Gene Therapy Patent
Introgen Therapeutics said last week that it has obtained exclusive rights to a newly issued patent covering the development of adenoviral vector-based gene therapies.
The patent, US Patent No 7,244,617, "Diminishing Viral Gene Expression by Promoter Replacement," was granted to the Board of Regents of the University of Texas System last week. Introgen said it is one of “numerous” patents — both pending and issued — that it has licensed exclusively from the UT system’s MD Anderson Cancer Center.
"This patent is a significant addition to Introgen's intellectual property portfolio in that it covers viral vectors with genetic modifications that will permit researchers to easily control the replication of such vectors by, for example, supplying an inducing factor, which can prevent unwanted vector replication in patients," said David Parker, Introgen's senior vice president of intellectual property, in a statement.
Introgen said that the claims of the patent also cover the deletion of multiple viral genes within a vector, which enables the insertion of numerous or large therapeutic genes, including tumor-suppressor genes.
This patent also covers the adenoviral vector's use with pro-apoptotic genes, which induce cell death in the target cell.

Renishaw Takes 75 Percent Stake in U of Strathclyde Molecular Dx Spinout
UK-based spectroscopy firm Renishaw said last week that it had acquired a 75 percent stake in D3 Technologies, a company set up in collaboration with Scotland’s University of Strathclyde and others to develop DNA-based diagnostics based on surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy.
Renishaw’s investment includes a cash payment of £1.85 million ($3.8 million) and instrumentation worth approximately £5 million ($10.3 million).
D3 will use £850,000 from the investment to purchase the business and assets of the analytical business unit operated by Mesophotonics, a spin-out from the University of Southampton.
D3 plans to combine Mesophotinics, Klarite substrate technology with the SERS technology and biochemistry expertise of the University of Strathclyde’s chemistry department, Renishaw said.
In a statement, David McBeth, Strathclyde's director of research and innovation, said that Renishaw’s investment “illustrates the quality of Strathclyde's spin-out pipeline and our growing linkages with experienced entrepreneurs.”

The Scan

Could Mix It Up

The US Food and Drug Administration is considering a plan that would allow for the mixing-and-matching of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines and boosters, the New York Times says.

Closest to the Dog

New Scientist reports that extinct Japanese wolf appears to be the closest known wild relative of dogs.

Offer to Come Back

The Knoxville News Sentinel reports that the University of Tennessee is offering Anming Hu, a professor who was acquitted of charges that he hid ties to China, his position back.

PNAS Papers on Myeloid Differentiation MicroRNAs, Urinary Exosomes, Maize Domestication

In PNAS this week: role of microRNAs in myeloid differentiation, exosomes in urine, and more.