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.

BIO, AUTM Host Technology Transfer Symposium @ BIO 2010

BIO-AUTM Technology Transfer Symposium
Tuesday, May 4, 2010

2:00 PM – 5:30 PM

Hyatt at McCormick Place – Regency Ballroom B

2233 South Martin L. King Drive

Chicago, Illinois

The BIO Technology Transfer Symposium, in partnership with the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM), will explore the role of universities in the U.S. innovation economy, with a particular emphasis on technology transfer. The Symposium will examine the opportunities and challenges of collaborative biotechnology research and licensing to heal, fuel, and feed the world. The Symposium provides a unique occasion for dialogue among a diverse group of university, company, investor, and policy thought leaders.

Seating is limited. To RSVP and for additional information, email techtransfer@bio.org.

Download the Program Schedule. (743 KB PDF)

Program Speakers:

W. Mark Crowell, Vice President, Business Development, Scripps Research Institute; Co-chair, BIO Technology Transfer Committee

Linda P.B. Katehi, Chancellor, University of California (Davis)

Steve Mento, President & CEO, Conatus Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Robin A. Chadwick, Schwegman, Lundberg & Woessner (SLW)

Andrew Cittadine, Co-founder & CEO, American BioOptics

Tom Skalak, Vice President for Research, University of Virginia

Wes Blakeslee, Executive Director, Johns Hopkins University Office of Technology Transfer

Polly Murphy, Vice President Business Development, Pfizer

Eric Risser, Vice President for Business Development, Macrogenics

Mark Rohrbaugh, Director, National Institutes of Health Office of Technology Transfer

Jon Soderstrom, Ph.D., Managing Director, Office of Cooperative Research, Yale University
The BIO-AUTM Symposium is sponsored by Schwegman, Lundberg & Woessner and Sunlight Research (SLW/Sunlight).  BIO Thanks SLW/Sunlight for additionally co-sponsoring the BIO-EPO IP Counsels  Reception.

Where Breakthroughs Will Soon Call Home: Wisconsin’s BioAg Gateway

The Wisconsin BioAg Gateway is a visionary project being sited on Madison’s southeast side at the crossroads of Interstates 90 and 94. This location puts the BioAg Gateway at the center of the Midwest’s IQ Corridor—two hours from Chicago, an hour from Milwaukee, four to Minneapolis—and just minutes to the Dane County Regional Airport, with over 100 flights a day.

Importantly, the Gateway is a project that encompasses the natural and manmade assets of the area. The Madison Region is located in the driftless region of Southcentral—Southwest Wisconsin—the heart of “America’s Breadbasket,” between the Northwoods, the Misssissippi River Basin and the Great Lakes Basin. This location and landscape strongly inform our economy. Agriculture is a $1.86 billion industry in the Madison Region, we have the highest number of CSAs and farmers markets per capita in the region, and we are national leaders in food production and processing facilities throughout the region.  The research capacity of the University of Wisconsin—Madison works with our leading private sector companies to advance food safety, health, and to treat disease.  And we are in many ways the birthplace of the modern sustainability movement; the home of Aldo Leopold and John Muir, the launchpad for Gaylord Nelson’s Earth Day. The spirit of their work carries through to the region today in our cutting- edge R&D of bioplastics, alternative energy technologies, clean tech and environmental sciences.

So, bringing it all together, the BioAg Gateway is an ambitious project, pulling together four integral components that take agricultural products from research to development to commercialization through the MidWest BioLink Center and the BioAg Business Park; and to continue to educate about and promote both our hertiage and our future to the public through the Ag Discovery Center and Ag Showcase.

A little more about each of the four components of the BioAg Gateway:

MidWest BioLink Center: A secure, state-of-the-art research facility, the Midwest BioLink Commercialization and Business Center will provide bio and ag entrepreneurs the catalyst to take their technology to the next level and beyond.

  • Experimentation and prototyping flex space
  • Controlled environment facility
  • Plant science commercialization greenhouse
  • Office and lab space
  • Pilot processing
  • Conference and meeting space
  • Business services and financial assistance

BioAg Business Park: The BioAg Business Park will help bio and ag companies turn their breakthroughs into successful business ventures by quickly getting them up and running.

  • Building sites and commercial office space
  • Over 20 existing bio and ag businesses
  • Nearby resources:
    • Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection
    • Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene
    • UW Extension Ag Facility
  • Easy access to city, region and county

Wisconsin Ag Showcase: A regional showpiece for visitors from around the globe, the Wisconsin Ag Showcase will demonstrate the area’s vast agricultural diversity and commitment to sustainability.

  • Ag crop and renewable energy showcase
  • Trade groups and corporate partners
  • Best practice demonstrations
  • Field test plots
  • Ag and bio exhibits
  • Pantry gardens

Wisconsin Ag Discovery Center: A space designed for opening eyes, minds and doors, the Wisconsin Ag Discovery Center will educate visitors on all the amazing advancements taking place in the state.

  • Interactive center communicating and demonstrating invention
  • Emerging ag technology exhibits
  • Future of BioAg economy and new opportunities
  • Trailhead to state resources and innovators
  • Hands-on services for growers and ag entrepreneurs
  • BioAg success stories

http://www.bioaggateway.com

You can find the BioAg Gateway at BIO 2010 in the Wisconsin Paviliion: 4107

Jennifer Smith, Thrive

jsmith@thrivehere.org | http://www.thrivehere.org |Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/@thrivehere
Thrive is the economic development enterprise for the 8-county Madison, Wisconsin Region.

Boosting Small Company Presence at 2010 BIO International Convention, Wisconsin Madison Region Shows Off Talent

BIO 2010 Scholarships

In 2009, Thrive, the economic development enterprise for the eight-county Madison, Wisconsin USA region, developed a scholarship program to help regional biotech companies attend key business development events at the BIO International Convention. This year, Thrive partnered with BioForward, the City of Madison, UW-Madison CIBER, and Alliant Energy to increase the amount of funding available to biotech businesses. This year’s Small Business Scholarship Program was designed to help small Wisconsin biotech companies in medical, agriculture, energy, or other sectors, including medical devices, to participate in the convention’s One-on-One Partnering or company presentation forums. Companies that have participated in these events in the past have noted these opportunities as some of the most valuable aspects of their BIO experience. In an event the scale of BIO – with over 1,700 exhibitors – the ability to target and connect face-to-face with potential partners is a true opportunity. One 2009 grant recipient scheduled 27 one-on-one meetings at BIO, and remains in contact or has contracts with 15 of those companies today.

This year, 10 Wisconsin biotech companies were awarded scholarships of $1,100 each out of this grant partnership. Nine of those 10 companies are located in the eight-county Madison Region. The region’s recipients are:

  • C5-6 Technologies (Middleton) — Develops and commercializes solutions for the conversion of agricultural and forestry feedstocks into five carbon and six carbon sugars, high value chemicals, food products and fuels.
  • CellCura (Madison) — Dedicated to the development of novel equipment and products for use in Assisted Reproductive Technologies and Stem Cell Research. Products from CellCura will improve safety and efficiency in both clinical and research environments.
  • Echometrix (Madison) — Early-stage developer of proprietary ultrasound technology that offers a new, quantitative approach to the assessment of tendon, ligament and muscle pathology.
  • InvivoSciences (McFarland / Wauwatosa) — Researches and develops engineered, tissue-based assays that mimic human and animal functions. The high-throughput system and ready-to-use tissues grown in a three-dimensional (3D) environment are predictive and cost-effective.
  • Intense Engineering (Madison) — Helps dynamic companies in the medical and biotechnology fields by providing expert design and engineering services for technology development and product line advancement.
  • Neoclone (Madison) — Develops monoclonal antibodies for research and diagnostic applications and has a research program for making human therapeutics.
  • Primorigen (Madison) — Develops innovative, low cost protein and cell biology research products to speed development of new regenerative medicines and other therapeutics for conditions such as diabetes.
  • Quintessence Biosciences (Madison) – A private biopharmaceutical company developing anticancer compounds that attack a new target, the RNA in cancer cells. The company has a drug called QBI-139 in a Phase I clinical trial.
  • Vatrix Medical (Fitchburg) –A medical technology company focused on developing less invasive and more complete methods to diagnose and treat the root causes of aneurysmal disease.

Madison Region at BIO 2010

For the past two years, Thrive has collaborated with partners – the cities of Fitchburg, Madison, and Middleton, along with Alliant Energy and Madison Gas & Electric – to establish a regional presence and promote the region’s biotech assets to the world at BIO. That partnership continues this year, where Thrive and our partners will staff a booth in the Wisconsin Pavilion and connect with an international audience.  Find Thrive and the Madison Region at BIO 2010 in the Wisconsin Pavilion, Booth 4107

Julia Hatton, Thrive Project Director

jhatton@thrivehere.org | http://www.thrivehere.org | Twitter @thrivehere
Thrive is the economic development enterprise for the eight-county Madison Wisconsin Region