IPWatchdog Blog: “In Search of Technology Transfer Best Practices”

Gene Quinn of IPWatchdog.com covered the BIO-AUTM Technology Transfer Symposium this past week, on May 4, 2010 at the 2010 BIO International Convention.

The Symposium attendees were high-level experts on technology transfer policy looking to get to the “brass tacks” of issues concerning innovation, federally funded research, and creative licensing schemes for product development in the United States.

Below is a quotation from IPWatchdog’s coverage:

Last week while at the 2010 BIO International Convention, I attended the Tech Transfer Symposium, which was held on Tuesday, May 4, 2010 at the Hyatt Regency Ballroom at McCormick Place. I had previously arranged an interview with Linda Katehi, Chancellor of the University of California (Davis), a transcript of that conversation appears below. At the outset of the Tech Transfer Symposium Katehi gave an introductory presentation on technology transfer that lead into a panel discussion.  As an Electrical Engineer, Professor and now Chancellor in the UC system, Katehi has a lot of experience with technology transfer, and for those Universities struggling to figure out how to license out technology in a successful manner they could learn an awful lot from Katehi. Her presentation and the time I spent thereafter with her continued to facilitate my understanding of why some Universities succeed and others fail.

Katehi also has some interesting suggestions regarding what the Patent Office could do to help Universities, both in speeding up the patent process and in keeping costs lower.  I learned a lot from speaking with Katehi, which supplemented my knowledge based on my experiences at Syracuse University.  What I am continually piecing together suggests that there is no great surprise why most Universities do not do a better job with respect to technology transfer.  There are things that are clearly considered best practices in the private sector that seem to elude Universities for the most part.  The University of California system seems to be out in front and trying to bring the best practices of the private sector into Universities.  It is no wonder they do a better job than most with technology transfer.

Full summary of the BIO-AUTM Technology Transfer Symposium:

Today’s Technology Transfer Symposium’s panel on The Role of Universities, Biotechnology Companies and Technology Transfer in the Innovation Economy included an active debate on issues ranging from increasing the odds for a successful partnership and the pros and cons of the Bayh-Dole Act.  Andrew Cittadine, Co-founder & CEO of American BioOptics, Linda P.B. Katehi, Chancellor of the University of California (Davis), Steve Mento, President and CEO of Conatus Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and Tom Skalak, Vice President for Research, University of Virginia, all participated in the conversation, moderated by Robin A. Chadwick of Schwegman, Lundberg & Woessner.

Skalak noted during the panel that one of the keys to a successful partnership is “diverse eyeballs on the project,” which can help in making good decisions.  As an example, he pointed to a deal his university is involved in with AstraZeneca.  Cittadine underscored the importance of finding a good fit between the university and the biotech firm.

In discussing Bayh-Dole, all the panelists agreed that the Act has brought a lot of benefit to the industry, although there is room for improvement.  The Act “provides incentives to institutions to bring research to the marketplace,” explained Katehi.  Under Bayh-Dole, “ideas can emerge,” she added.  While she acknowledged that changes are needed, Katehi explained that if the Act is eliminated “there will be millions of good ideas, but no process for bringing them forward.”

Mento agreed, stating, “Bayh-Dole made the biotech industry possible.”  He noted that the system worked in the beginning, but it has now “evolved into a system where the focus is on short term return.”  It’s “impossible” to make the economics work, Mento said.

Cittadine added, the framework in Bayh-Dole is what enables new ideas to get funding.  Skalak, meanwhile, noted that without Bayh-Dole, discovery-oriented research would not happen.

Did you attend the Symposium? Interested in materials, or in joining the BIO Technology Transfer Committee? Email me at mnoriega@bio.org.

Policy Leaders Discuss U.S. Innovation Economy at BIO-AUTM Technology Transfer Symposium

Today’s Technology Transfer Symposium’s panel on The Role of Universities, Biotechnology Companies and Technology Transfer in the Innovation Economy included an active debate on issues ranging from increasing the odds for a successful partnership and the pros and cons of the Bayh-Dole Act. 

Andrew Cittadine, Co-founder & CEO of American BioOptics, Linda P.B. Katehi, Chancellor of the University of California (Davis), Steve Mento, President and CEO of Conatus Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and Tom Skalak, Vice President for Research, University of Virginia, all participated in the conversation, moderated by Robin A. Chadwick of Schwegman, Lundberg & Woessner.

Skalak noted during the panel that one of the keys to a successful partnership is “diverse eyeballs on the project,” which can help in making good decisions.  As an example, he pointed to a deal his university is involved in with AstraZeneca.  Cittadine underscored the importance of finding a good fit between the university and the biotech firm.

In discussing Bayh-Dole, all the panelists agreed that the Act has brought a lot of benefit to the industry, although there is room for improvement.  The Act “provides incentives to institutions to bring research to the marketplace,” explained Katehi.  Under Bayh-Dole, “ideas can emerge,” she added.  While she acknowledged that changes are needed, Katehi explained that if the Act is eliminated “there will be millions of good ideas, but no process for bringing them forward.”

Mento agreed, stating, “Bayh-Dole made the biotech industry possible.”  He noted that the system worked in the beginning, but it has now “evolved into a system where the focus is on short term return.”  It’s “impossible” to make the economics work, Mento said.

Cittadine added, the framework in Bayh-Dole is what enables new ideas to get funding.  Skalak, meanwhile, noted that without Bayh-Dole, discovery-oriented research would not happen.

BIO Business Success Stories:Video

Three Madison Wisconsin biotech/biomedical businesses discuss what makes their business successful in the Madison Region–from a startup (FluGen), a business just about to enter clinical trials (Quintessence) and a global headquarters with an IPO (TomoTherapy).

BIO Announces New Policy on Options for Increasing Access to Medicines in the Developing World

BIO Announces New Policy on Options for  Increasing Access to Medicines in the Developing World

Washington, D.C. (May 3, 2010) – Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) President and CEO released the following statement on a set of options to increase access to medicines in the developing world which was announced at the Partnering for Global Health Forum 2010 today.

“While many of BIO’s members are taking individual steps to address the global health crisis, we recognize as an industry that more can and should be done.   We believe that the goals of increasing access to medicines, respecting intellectual property rights, and maintaining commercial viability are mutually supportive. 

“BIO’s Policy Statement on Options for Increasing Access to Medicines in the Developing World is the first time that we as an industry have come together to identify viable options that we believe individual companies should consider as they develop and market their products worldwide.

“We strongly encourage all BIO members and other biopharmaceutical companies to review the options outlined in this Policy Statement and consider how they as individual companies can contribute to this effort.

“Working together, we can meet the global health challenge and help save and improve the quality of life for millions of patients around the world.”

The Policy Statement is available at http://www.bio.org/healthcare/innovation/Access_to_Medicines_Policy_Statement_Final.pdf.

BIO International Convention: Policy Wonks and Science Wizards

Via Fast Company:

Policy wonks and science wizards unite at this year’s big biotech-industry conference in Chicago, where more than 15,000 attendees talk biofuels, health innovation, and superpowered agriculture with former presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton and former vice president Al Gore. With roughly $250 billion in market cap and influence across a staggering number of sectors, it’s no wonder biotech managed to snag a bipartisan clutch of big names to key-note. “We like to invite speakers who challenge our industry and who don’t necessarily agree with us,” says Robbi Lycett, BIO’s VP for conventions and conferences. With an agenda that includes genetically modified crops and stem-cell research, we suspect that stirring debate will not be a problem. — LILLIAN CUNNINGHAM

Collaboration: The Key to Success

BIO’s PatentlyBIOtech Blog was started in November 2008 as a way for the friendly, funny, late-night-oil-burning staff at BIO to share the news, event, and policy information we receive by the second. We get so much news here, we have to share it for it to be of the most value to the public and the industry.

In terms of the Blog’s focus, we take economic development seriously.  We concentrate on understanding the trends in the biotechnology industry, and sharing information about those trends. We know that the best way to succeed in building a sustainable, strong economy geared towards meeting social goals in health, energy, and the environment is to work together. Just read the recent essay on collaboration by Rick Williams of the Hamner Institutes For Health Sciences (Hamner website):

The BIO Conference: A Platform for Collaboration

By Rick Williams, Chief Business Officer, The Hamner Institutes For Health Sciences

Rick WilliamsCollaboration among the world’s top biotechnology hubs is not only strategically sound, but critically necessary, and the BIO international conventions provide organizations worldwide with an annual opportunity to develop and strengthen results-driven partnerships. At BIO 2008 in San Diego, leaders from The Hamner met with representatives from China and Norway and began to discuss ways to work together. These BIO meetings were followed by a series of visits to each other’s respective headquarters and the signing of new agreements.

The Hamner’s partnership with China Medical City, located north of Shanghai, led to formation of a joint institute and an increase in research and business opportunities for Jiangsu Province and North Carolina. The new Hamner-China Biosciences Center has also signed subsequent agreements with six other major Chinese science parks and four leading research institutions. Collaborations with the Oslo Cancer Cluster are opening up additional research and technology-development opportunities between NC and northern European cancer centers.Rick Williams

Like The Hamner and its advantageous location in the middle of Research Triangle Park, China Medical City and Oslo Cancer Cluster have also been established in communities where there is a rich fabric of cutting-edge biomedical research accentuated by a high concentration of life sciences organizations and industry. China Medical City is a science park dedicated to the development and commercialization of biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and medical technology products; the Oslo Cancer Cluster is a biotech cluster organization committed to accelerating the development of new cancer diagnostics and medicines.

As an independent 501(c)(3) biomedical research institution, The Hamner has been built on a model similar to that of the Broad Institute and Whitehead Institute in Boston. It acts as a catalyst to link world class universities with a strong “eco-system” of pharmaceutical companies, biotech start-ups, drug development and regulatory experts, etc., thereby enhancing translational research and commercialization of new bio/pharma products.

The Hamner has expanded its NC collaborations to create a Global Biosciences Gateway, which focuses on translational research, training programs, biopartnering, and economic development. By working closely with academe, industry, and government agencies, The Hamner and its partners-like China Medical City and the Oslo Cancer Cluster-are working together to accelerate development of new biomedical technologies that improve healthcare for patients worldwide.

BIO looks forward to learning from and collaborating  with partners who, like The Hamner, see the importance in public-private funding, research, and product development for a healthier and safer tomorrow. Here are some recent additional examples that showcase BIO’s collaborative appreciation:

PatentlyBIOtech received its highest readership ever during the last two months, thanks to the excellent series of PatentlyBIOtech essays written by the staff at Thrive, the economic development enterprise for the 8-county Madison, Wisconsin Region.

You can read more about BIO’s ongoing activities on our blogs and at our annual International Convention website, which will be updated in real time starting this Friday, April 30.

Shout-Out: 2010 BIO International Convention Official Bloggers!

Surviving through a vigorous and brutal screening process,  BIO International Convention bloggers have to be smart, funny, and well-spoken. Think of our bloggers as the best final round of a dating reality show. Well, maybe they’re a little better than that.

Here are the official bloggers:

Follow their individual journey through the all the sessions, meetings, events, and receptions on via their personal coverage on their websites, and don’t forget to visit BIOtech Now (http://www.biotech-now.org/).

Oh, and don’t forget PatentlyBIOtech and my twitter account, http://www.twitter.com/MargaritaAtBIO. I’ll be providing real-time news at the Convention.