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USPTO, SparkIP, Stanford U, NIH, Johns Hopkins U, Tufts U, UCLA’s California NanoSys Institute, NanoPacific Holdings, ARCH Venture Partners, Sante Ventures, Maryland Technology Development Corporation, Maryland Research and Applied Sciences Consortium, US

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Lawsuit Seeking to Oust New USPTO Director Peterlin Dismissed
 
The United States District Court for the District of Columbia last week dismissed a suit against the appointment earlier this year of Margaret Peterlin as deputy director of the US Patent and Trademark Office.
 
In their lawsuit against Carlos Gutierrez, the US Secretary of Commerce and Peterlin’s appointee, Greg Aharonian, inventor and publisher of the Internet Patent News Service; along with author David Pressman, inventor Steve Morsa, and patent attorney David Lentini, filed suit in Washington, DC.
 
The plaintiffs complained that Peterlin’s appointment was unlawful because she was not a “citizen of the US who has a professional background and experience in patent and trademark law,” according to court documents.
 
US District Court Judge James Robertson dismissed the case last week.
 

 
SparkIP Adds Stanford, NIH, JHU, and Tufts to IP Network
 
SparkIP, an online intellectual property network for the scientific community, said last week that it has added Stanford University, the National Institutes of Health, Johns Hopkins University, and Tufts University to its list of participating universities, non-profit research institutes, and government research agencies.
 
These institutions join previous launch partners Duke University, Georgia Tech, North Carolina State, and Switzerland’s EPFL.
 
SparkIP launched its IP network in October at the Licensing Executives Society annual meeting in Vancouver, BC, as an online marketplace for licensable university technologies (see BTW, 10/22/07).
 

 
UCLA’s California NanoSys Institute, NanoPacific to Co-Develop Nanotech
 
The California NanoSystems Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles, said last week that it has partnered with NanoPacific Holdings to commercialize a mechanized nanoparticle-based technology for treating cancer.
 
Under the terms of the partnership, NPH will receive an exclusive license to intellectual property owned by UCLA and developed within the Nano Machine Center at the CNSI.
 
The newly formed company will provide funding for further research to be performed at the center to broaden the scope of the technology, UCLA said.
 
The first application of the technology will be in the area of targeting chemotherapeutic agents in reduced doses to cancer cells. Other significant applications anticipated include use in scent and cosmetics, food products, environmental remediation, construction materials, and defense, UCLA said.
Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
 

 
Seed Investor ARCH Venture Partners Closes $400M Seventh Fund
 
ARCH Venture Partners last week announced the closing of its seventh venture fund with $400 million in capital commitments.
 
The new venture fund makes ARCH one of the largest providers of seed capital in the US with approximately $1.5 billion under management, ARCH said. Fund VII attracted investors representing US, European, and Asian interests, including university endowments, corporations, major pension funds, public institutions, and private family foundations.
 
ARCH said that the new fund will target innovations in advanced materials, including developments in semiconductors, photonics, and nanotechnology, and will continue to support ARCH’s investment activities in biotechnology.
 

 
Sante Ventures Closes $130M Debut Healthcare Venture Fund
 
Sante Ventures said this week that it has closed its debut venture capital fund with $130 million in committed capital, the maximum amount permitted in the original offering targeting $100 million.
 
Based in Austin, Texas, the healthcare-focused fund will invest primarily in seed and early stage companies developing innovative new medical technologies and healthcare services.
 
Sante said that it invests nationally with a focus on the central US, and has offices in Austin and Nashville, Tenn.
 

 
Tedco to Help Minority Schools Develop Military Life Sciences Tech
 
The Maryland Technology Development Corporation, the Maryland Research and Applied Sciences Consortium, and the US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command at Ft. Detrick last week announced the establishment of a project to help USAMRMC meet its primary science and technology objective of investigating emerging military requirements in biotechnology and life sciences.
 
The Maryland Congressional Delegation led funding of the project with a commitment of $936,000. Under the initiative, called the Applied Research Development Project, an estimated seven to 10 science and technology projects at the MRASC Institutions will be funded, Tedco said.
 
One goal of the project is to assist USAMRMC in meeting its primary science and technology objective of investigating emerging military requirements in biotechnology and life sciences.
 
In addition, the program will assist the Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Serving Institutions that make up the MRASC in developing ongoing research and technology transfer activities that will enable them to better respond to the technology needs of federal research and development agencies.
 
The MRASC comprises Bowie State University, Coppin State University, Morgan State University, Sojourner-Douglass College, and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.
 
The Applied Research Development Project may also benefit entrepreneurial development by providing opportunities for minority-owned businesses to create alignments with Maryland HBCU/MSIs, Tedco said.
 

 
USPTO Grants Brain Injury Biomarker Patent to UF, Licensee Banyan Says
 
The US Patent and Trademark Office has granted US Patent No. 7,291,710, “Detection of spectrin and spectrin proteolytic cleavage products in assessing nerve cell damage,” to the University of Florida, according to Banyan Biomarkers, an exclusive licensee of the patent.
 
Banyan said that the patent covers the detection of spectrin and spectrin breakdown products in patients’ blood, which will allow physicians to determine the magnitude of injury and progression of neuronal cell death after injury.
 
Banyan and UF have filed additional patent applications claiming the use of other protein biomarkers as aids in detecting and evaluating traumatic brain injury.
 

 
Midwest IP and yet2.com Aim to Bolster Tech Transfer in Middle America
 
Midwest Intellectual Property Marketplace and yet2.com last week announced a strategic partnership to help companies and inventors in the Midwest US source new income streams for untapped markets.
 
Midwets IP is an Iowa company specializing in marketing IP for license and sale, while Boston-based yet2.com is a worldwide technology marketplace and consultancy.
 
As part of the agreement, yet2.com and Midwest IP will “aggressively cross-market technologies and their technology search capabilities” to assist clients in locating funding sources and transferring technology, the companies said.
 

 
NIMH Seeks Partners to Develop, Sell Protein Quantification Techniques
 
The National Institute of Mental Health’s Laboratory of Neurotoxicology is seeking interested parties to collaborate in a research alliance to develop and commercialize protein quantification techniques using mass spectrometry.
 
NIMH said the technology can be used in basic research, to diagnose disease, or determine amounts of specific marker proteins in heterogeneous mixtures such as blood or urine.
 
The technology, which uses a combination of recombinant DNA technology, fluorescence, proteolytic, and mass spectrometric methods, is currently in the pre-clinical validation phase.
 
Some applications of the technology could include cell signaling, cell cycle function, developing calibration standards for mass spectrometry and non-mass-spectrometric techniques, and in determining post-translation modification of a signature peptide.
 
Investigators interested in finding out more information may view the NIMH announcement here.

The Scan

Missed Early Cases

A retrospective analysis of blood samples suggests early SARS-CoV-2 infections may have been missed in the US, the New York Times reports.

Limited Journal Editor Diversity

A survey finds low diversity among scientific and medical journal editors, according to The Scientist.

How Much of a Threat?

Science writes that need for a provision aimed at shoring up genomic data security within a new US bill is being questioned.

PNAS Papers on Historic Helicobacter Spread, Brain Development, C. difficile RNAs

In PNAS this week: Helicobacter genetic diversity gives insight into human migrations, gene expression patterns of brain development, and more.