Tuesday, February 24, 2015

February Newsletter Now Available

Top stories from CU Tech Transfer's February 2015 newsletter:

20 Years of CU Startups
CU Tech Transfer believes that startups can be a key vehicle to translate academic inventions into commercial goods and services that benefit the public. Through startup formation, federal and private funding can be attracted to move a research project through important product development milestones. Startups are also an engine for local economic development and job creation, and success in this area demonstrates value of university research to the broader community (as well as helping recruit and retain high-quality faculty).

Since 1994, more than 140 companies based on CU research have spun off from CU's four campuses - click the image above for a printable poster highlighting CU's history of startup creation and sustainability over the past 20 years (1994-2014). CU startups enjoy a higher survival rate than the average small business nationwide - read more about why CU startups succeed in this coverage by BizWest and this Technology Transfer Tactics article, or visit our Starting a Company at CU page for FAQ's and an overview of the processes and resources involved in starting a company based on CU research.

CU Technology for Thinner Electronics Commercialized by Kelvin Thermal

CU-Boulder Technology Could Make Treatment and Reuse of Oil and Gas Wastewater Simpler, Cheaper

Mile High Ophthalmics Joins University of Colorado to Launch Device Easing Cataract Surgery

CU Technology Providing Hope for Patients with Liver Disease

New CU Tech Transfer Website Launched

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

CU Technology for Thinner Electronics Commercialized by Kelvin Thermal

BOULDER, Colo., February 17, 2015 - Kelvin Thermal Technologies and the University of Colorado have executed an exclusive license agreement that will allow the company to develop and market thermal management technologies that could enable the development of ultra-thin and flexible smartphones, wearable electronics and other commercial and military systems.

As computers, smartphones and other systems become more advanced and consume more power in smaller spaces, they require more efficient ways to manage the heat generated by their components. Thermal management is a major constraint in the design of new systems, since it affects not only the reliability of a system, but also its surface temperature, energy consumption and battery life.

Current thermal management solutions are a limiting factor in the thickness and flexibility of smartphones and wearable electronics, said Professor Y.C. Lee of CU-Boulder’s mechanical engineering department, a co-founder of Kelvin Thermal Technologies.

With funding from the U.S. Department of Defense under its Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), a group of CU-Boulder researchers including Lee has developed an ultra-thin, flexible thermal “ground plane.” The ground plane is a flat, heat-transfer device as thin as a credit card that can be mounted on electronic devices -- a new approach to thermal management that replaces conventional materials like graphite, copper and aluminum used to remove heat from devices, said Lee.

The thermal ground plane is at least three times as efficient as graphite and ten times as efficient as copper. Another important advantage of the CU technology licensed by Kelvin Thermal is its ultra-thin profile, taking up less space in smartphones and other small systems, Lee said. In addition, the device is flexible, a necessity for the development of flexible smartphones and wearable devices.

“Hot areas on consumer products such as smartphones and tablets are not only annoying to the consumer, they can also decrease performance,” said Lee. “Flexible thermal ground planes passively maintain comfortable skin temperatures without the use of fans and other temperature control techniques used in larger systems.” Lee led the research group that developed the new technologies and currently is serving as the company’s president and is a co-founder of Kelvin Thermal.

“In addition to consumer electronics, our thermal ground planes will also have applications like more efficient cooling systems for power plants and temperature control of building and vehicles,” said Associate Professor Ronggui Yang of mechanical engineering, also co-founder and treasurer of the Kelvin Thermal company.

“The exclusive IP agreement strengthens the existing collaboration between Kelvin Thermal and CU-Boulder to explore these exciting opportunities,” said Yang. “CU-Boulder students and postgraduates will also have opportunities to work on real-world problems through the collaboration with Kevin Thermal.”

“We believe that better thermal ground planes are an important step toward thinner and safer electronics,” said Marta Zgagacz of the CU Technology Transfer Office. “We’re thrilled with Kelvin Thermal Technologies’ dedication to developing and commercializing the technology.”

Lee and Yang incorporated Kelvin Thermal Technologies in June 2014. The company develops thermal management technologies to control temperatures in advanced electronics such as wearable electronics, smartphones, tablets, computers, light emitting diodes, laser modules, power electronics and radio frequency modules.

“The issue of thermal management is significant today in all aspects of design,” said Allen Duck, Kelvin Thermal CEO. “The Kelvin Thermal approach to heat transfer and thermal management offers design teams opportunities to create thinner, smaller more efficient electronics systems. In creative hands it becomes a game-changing technology.”

The technologies developed by Lee’s research group were developed under DARPA funding, contract number N66001-08-C-2006. Approved for Public Release, Distribution Unlimited.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

20 Years of CU Startups


CU Tech Transfer believes that startups can be a key vehicle to translate academic inventions into commercial goods and services that benefit the public. Through startup formation, federal and private funding can be attracted to move a research project through important product development milestones. Startups are also an engine for local economic development and job creation, and success in this area demonstrates value of university research to the broader community (as well as helping recruit and retain high-quality faculty).

Since 1994, more than 140 companies based on CU research have spun off from CU's four campuses - click the image above to learn about CU's startup success stories, and view a printable poster highlighting CU's history of startup creation and sustainability over the past 20 years (1994-2014). CU startups enjoy a higher survival rate than the average small business nationwide - read more about why CU startups succeed in this coverage by BizWest and this Technology Transfer Tactics article, or visit our Starting a Company at CU page for FAQ's and an overview of the processes and resources involved in starting a company based on CU research.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Mile High Ophthalmics Joins University of Colorado to Launch Device Easing Cataract Surgery



Device will help surgeons perform safer, more consistent cataract removal.




AURORA, Colo., January 26, 2015 – A new device designed to perform safer, more effective cataract surgery is going on the market following a licensing agreement between the University of Colorado and Mile High Ophthalmics LLC.

Cataracts, clouding of the lens inside the eye, are the most common cause of impaired vision worldwide. In the U.S. alone, cataracts impact over 24 million adults over age 40, with this number expected to double by 2020. By age 80, more than half of all Americans will have cataracts with direct medical treatment costs estimated at $6.8 billion per year.

Mild cataracts can be treated with bright lighting, glasses or other devices but ultimately surgery is required to replace the clouded lens with an artificial implant. As part of this procedure, surgeons must manually remove a circular part of the capsule surrounding the lens. These are challenging techniques that can lead to a range of complications from difficulty in actually removing the lens and replacing it with an artificial one to infections and even retinal detachment. Both of the latter could lead to blindness.

But now a research group led by Malik Kahook, M.D., of the University of Colorado School of Medicine at the Anschutz Medical Campus (Department of Ophthalmology), has developed a ring-shaped device to enhance the surgeon’s ability to complete a perfectly round and centered opening in the capsule during cataract surgery. The ring is micro-patterned to help it adhere to the capsule and remain in place during the surgery.

Top image: VERUS device in the eye; bottom image: eye after capsulorhexis is complete
“There have been many attempts over the past few decades to make the opening of the anterior capsule safer and more reproducible by cataract surgeons of all skill sets and training levels,” said Kahook, who holds the Slater Family Chair in Ophthalmology at the CU School of Medicine. “Past devices have included very expensive lasers or devices that failed to provide the needed outcomes. The VERUS device is cost effective and can be seamlessly incorporated into standard cataract surgery without adding extensive time or a long learning curve. The resulting opening of the capsule when using the VERUS device is round and centered as desired by the surgeon, and promises to enhance outcomes and improve safety.”

Mile High Ophthalmics CEO James Dennewill said he looks forward to launching the device next month.

“We are excited to be working with the team at the University of Colorado to give surgeons and patients access to some of the great ideas they’ve been working on in their labs,” he said. “We are launching our first device, the VERUS™ Capsulorhexis Device, in February 2015 with the hopes of improving the visual outcomes of cataract surgery patients by optimizing the capsulotomy part of the procedure and pricing the device in such a way that all patients and surgeons have access to it.”

About Mile High Ophthalmics
 Mile High Ophthalmics, LLC is a medical device company focused on devices that improve the outcomes of ophthalmic surgery and access to those outcomes. The company's initial product is the VERUS™ Capsulorhexis Device, which helps create a round, centered capsulorhexis to optimize results from cataract surgery with artificial lens implantation. The quality of the capsulorhexis has been proven to affect visual outcomes during and after cataract surgery. Mile High Ophthalmics is the first portfolio company of Kaman Ventures, Inc., a medical device accelerator that helps bring innovative products to market quickly and efficiently. www.milehighophthalmics.com.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

January Newsletter Now Available

Top stories from CU Tech Transfer's January 2015 newsletter:

EnteroTrack Commercializing Device for Non-Invasive Inflammation Monitoring Developed at CU Anschutz
EnteroTrack, LLC and CU have executed an exclusive license agreement that will allow the company to develop and market a novel device to monitor inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract.

Three CU Researchers Named Top Serial Bio Entrepreneurs
Two University of Colorado faculty members, and one former CU graduate student, were included in a list of top serial bioscience entrepreneurs published by Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN).

Colorado Universities to Get Millions for Research in Advanced Composites
Colorado universities (including CU) will get up to $14M in federal money over five years to pursue research and use of advanced composite materials.

Now Hiring: Open Positions at CU Tech Transfer

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

EnteroTrack Commercializing Device for Non-Invasive Inflammation Monitoring Developed at CU Anschutz, University of Illinois

Non-invasive device enables better monitoring of esophageal disease and inflammation. 

AURORA, Colo., January 6, 2015 – EnteroTrack, LLC and the University of Colorado (CU) have executed an exclusive license agreement that will allow the company to develop and market a novel device to monitor inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract.

Diagnosing inflammatory conditions of the gastrointestinal tract such as eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), severe gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), eosinophilic gastroenteritis (EGE), food allergic enteropathy (FAE), and inflammatory bowel disease (lBD) is often difficult, since blood tests and radio-imaging aren’t able to pinpoint the cause of inflammation. Ultimately, many patients must undergo endoscopy – use of an instrument to visualize the esophagus and collect samples for testing.

EnteroTrack LLC is developing a capsule that allows for simple, low-cost analysis of esophageal content. The capsule can help identify the presence of esophageal inflammation, leading to faster treatment. The capsule can also be used to monitor the effectiveness of treatment, and in the future may also be used to help diagnose esophageal diseases.

The company was formed as a result of a partnership between Glenn T. Furuta, M.D., a professor of pediatrics at the CU School of Medicine at the Anschutz Medical Campus and a pediatric gastroenterologist at Children’s Hospital Colorado; Robin Shandas, Ph.D., professor and chair of bioengineering at the University of Colorado Denver, College of Engineering and Applied Science; and Steven Ackerman, Ph.D., a professor of biochemistry at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago.

“This partnership represents the best aspect of academic medicine,” said Furuta. “We have been able to successfully collaborate in a multi-disciplinary fashion to develop and execute a plan that will ultimately improve the lives children and adults with gastrointestinal diseases." Furuta developed the technology in collaboration with Ackerman; the duo then approached Shandas to move the idea from the university research lab into a commercial entity.

At that time, Children’s Hospital Colorado stepped in to provide seed funding to the company, supporting the innovative research of the researchers and recognizing the opportunity to positively impact the lives of children with inflammatory conditions of the gastrointestinal track.

“Given the increasing pressures to contain costs, there is clear rationale for innovative, cost-effective methods to monitor esophageal diseases,” said Shandas, who is acting as the company’s interim CEO. “This technology holds particular promise because it can reduce total patient care costs while keeping good margins. We hope to obtain FDA approval for the device in 2015.”

About EnteroTrack
EnteroTrack aims to be a key player in the field of detecting gastrointestinal (GI) biomarkers to monitor various diseases in children and adults. In contrast to current, more invasive approaches or less direct methods, the company’s products are minimally invasive and targeted for specific organs and diseases. The diagnostic market for GI diseases in the US exceeds $1B annually. The company has received funding from Children’s Hospital Colorado, and from the State of Colorado’s Bioscience Discovery and Evaluation Grant program.

About the Technology Transfer Office and the University of Colorado
The CU Technology Transfer Office pursues, protects, packages, and licenses to business the intellectual property generated from research at CU. Tech Transfer provides assistance to faculty, staff, and students, as well as to businesses looking to license or invest in CU technology. For more information about technology transfer at CU, visit www.cu.edu/techtransfer.

The University of Colorado is a premier public research university with four campuses: the University of Colorado Boulder, the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, the University of Colorado Denver and the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. With nearly 59,700 students, over 4,900 full-time instructional faculty members and an additional 1,200 research faculty members across the four campuses, CU is the largest institution of higher education in the state of Colorado. CU researchers attracted more than $861M in sponsored research funding in fiscal year 2013-14. Academic prestige is marked by the university’s five Nobel laureates, eight MacArthur “genius” Fellows, 18 alumni astronauts and 19 Rhodes Scholars. For more information about the entire CU system, and to access campus resources, go to www.cu.edu.

About the Technology Transfer Office and the University of Illinois at Chicago
The University of Illinois at Chicago, home to the nation’s largest college of medicine, is a leader in moving path-breaking research into innovative, real-world applications. The UIC Office of Technology Management encourages innovation and facilitates economic development through the effective management, transfer, and commercialization of UIC technologies and intellectual property.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

December Newsletter Now Available

Top stories from TTO's December 2014 newsletter:

Annual Report: FY2013-14 Now Available 
CU Tech Transfer is pleased to announce that our annual report covering our activities from July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014 is now available for viewing. Please use the link above to access a PDF version of the report.

WSJ: Universities Push Harder Into Realm of Startups 
Featuring CU spinout company Red Cloud Communication; the Wall Street Journal also interviewed CU Tech Transfer head Kate Tallman based on CU's outstanding track record on startup creation.

Powdered Measles Vaccine, Safe in Phase I, Could Aid Vaccination in Developing World

ARCA's Potential Ebola Drug Gets 'Orphan Drug Status' 

Now Hiring: Open Positions at CU Tech Transfer

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

CU Tech Transfer Annual Report Now Available (FY2013-14)

CU Tech Transfer is pleased to announce that our annual report covering our activities from July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014 is now available for viewing. Please use this link to access a PDF version of the report, or click the image above.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

November Newsletter Now Available

Top stories from TTO's November 2014 newsletter:

CU Startups - 2014 Update 
CU Tech Transfer has released an updated CU Startups poster providing info on financings, acquisitions and more for companies created based on CU technology since the early 1990's.

EdTrex Commercializing CU, UCAR Curriculum Management Platform 

SomaLogic Announces Novartis Agreement Extension, Equity Investment 

Nanoly Bioscience Receives Young Innovator Award 

Low-Cost IVF Method Wins Popular Science "Best of What's New"

Now Hiring: Open Positions at CU Tech Transfer

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

EdTrex Commercializing CU, UCAR Curriculum Management Platform


Software platform supports individualized curriculum planning using digital content.

BOULDER, Colo., October 28, 2014 – EdTrex LLC, the University of Colorado and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) today announced an exclusive option agreement allowing EdTrex to continue developing a software platform enabling on-demand creation of customizable curricula using curated open education resources. The company is actively engaged in extending its technology to address additional opportunities in classroom learning and front-line administration.

The software platform, named E-Hub, is the result of four years of research headed by Tamara Sumner, Ph.D., an associate professor of cognitive science and computer science at CU’s Boulder campus. Sumner co-directs Digital Learning Sciences, a joint research and development center between CU-Boulder and UCAR. Through research funded by the National Science Foundation (and incorporating input from Colorado and out-of-state school district teachers and administrators), the research group developed a teacher-centric, cloud-based system allowing educators to create customized curricula using curated resources from open education databases and publisher-provided materials. E-Hub is especially focused on content and curricula for STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and math).

In the six school districts where the E-Hub platform has been deployed so far (involving nearly 100 schools and 400 teachers), 90% of teachers said they would recommend the platform to other educators. In one study, student outcomes improved up to 35% based on standard test scores.

“For the first time, teachers can respond immediately and effectively to adaptions of instructional content that best suit the individual needs of each of their students,” said EdTrex CEO John Stearns. “We know all students learn differently. Now teachers can address those differences on the spot and achieve extraordinary learning outcomes.”

“Empowering teachers to customize curricula is particularly critical for today’s diverse learners,” added Sumner. “A study conducted by researchers from Utah State University1 found that students of teachers who took advantage of the rich features in the E-Hub platform showed significantly higher learning gains. In addition, these teachers’ use of E-Hub tended to benefit student populations that had a larger portion of low socio-economic status students.”

Mary Marlino, director of Digital Learning Services at UCAR, said, “We are especially excited about the transfer of this technology into classroom settings. This is a very satisfying culmination of a dozen years of working very closely with the CU team in developing services to support open education resources in the classroom.”

Beyond curriculum design, EdTrex plans to develop the software platform to support next-generation classroom and instructional management requirements. Following the advent of Common Core and other emerging standards, EdTrex is collaborating with Denver Public Schools to engage teachers and administrators in the development of a software tool to help manage Student Learning Objectives in the classroom and throughout the district. A beta version of this tool could be deployed as early as the 2015-16 academic year.

“We’re excited about the potential of EdTrex and the E-Hub software platform to transform the classroom,” said CU Tech Transfer’s Molly Markley. “EdTrex is well positioned for success with the group’s extensive expertise in digital content management and user-centered design, and John’s 10+ years of leading a successful e-learning software company. Additionally, the research group’s ongoing partnership with Denver Public Schools means educators will continue to play an integral role in developing a system teachers will actually use.”

References
 1. Ye, L., Walker, A., Leary, H., Recker, M., Yuan, M. (2014, April). Expanding Approaches for Understanding Impact: Integrating Technology, Curriculum, and Online Resources in Science Education. Paper presentation at the American Educational Research Association annual conference, Philadelphia, PA.

About EdTrex 
EdTrex is dedicated to the use of technology to achieve extraordinary classroom learning outcomes. The company develops products and related services that enable front-line educators – teachers and school administrators – to organize, manage, enrich and adapt resources to achieve extraordinary learning outcomes. www.edtrex.com

About the Technology Transfer Office and the University of Colorado
The CU Technology Transfer Office pursues, protects, packages, and licenses to business the intellectual property generated from research at CU. The TTO provides assistance to faculty, staff, and students, as well as to businesses looking to license or invest in CU technology. For more information about technology transfer at CU, visit www.cu.edu/techtransfer.

The University of Colorado is a premier public research university with four campuses: the University of Colorado Boulder, the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, the University of Colorado Denver and the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. With more than 59,700 students, over 4,700 full-time instructional faculty members and an additional 1,200 research faculty members across the four campuses, CU is the largest institution of higher education in the state of Colorado. CU researchers attracted more than $861M in sponsored research funding in fiscal year 2013-14. Academic prestige is marked by the university’s five Nobel laureates, eight MacArthur “genius” Fellows, 18 alumni astronauts and 19 Rhodes Scholars. For more information about the entire CU system, and to access campus resources, go to www.cu.edu.

About UCAR
The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research is a nonprofit consortium of more than 100 member colleges and universities focused on research and training in the atmospheric and related Earth system sciences. UCAR manages the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) under sponsorship by the National Science Foundation.www.ucar.edu.