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.”

 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.

Friday, October 24, 2014

CU Startups - 2014 Update

TTO 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. Click on the image for an interactive PDF including links to CU startups:

This updated poster includes information thru July 1, 2014.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

October Newsletter Now Available

Top stories from TTO's October 2014 newsletter:

CU Names Permanent Tech Transfer Leader
The University of Colorado has named Kathryn (Kate) Tallman associate vice president for technology transfer for the institution's four-campus system. Tallman has served in the position as interim since July 2013.

Upcoming at CU: Technology Transfer, University Commercialization Efforts, and Patent Strategies 
Hosted by CU's Silicon Flatirons, this conference will take a look at university licensing practices and evaluate alternative strategies that universities can pursue.

Nature: Academia and Industry: Companies on Campus 
Successful academia-industry partnerships require common interests, trust and good communication. For each of these, proximity helps. Housing industry labs in academic settings benefits all parties, say CU-Boulder's Jana Watson-Capps and Thomas Cech.

CU Tech Transfer Seeks Director for CU Denver, CU Anschutz 

Sneak Peek: CU Tech Transfer Performance Metrics

Novel 3M Restorative Dental Material Developed at CU-Boulder 

CU Tech Transfer Reports Performance Metrics for FY2013-14

CU Tech Transfer has released its performance metrics for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2014. Please follow this link to a short presentation summarizing our performance, and look for our full annual report later this month.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

CU Names Technology Transfer Leader

The University of Colorado has named Kathryn (Kate) Tallman associate vice president for technology transfer for the institution’s four-campus system. Tallman, who has served in the position as interim since July 2013, will lead CU’s Office of Technology Transfer, which manages and commercializes intellectual property resulting from research at CU. The operation has seen an increase recently in licensing agreements that enable university technologies to be developed by commercial partners. It also has seen consistency in the number of startup companies that emerge from university research.

“Kate Tallman has done a superb job directing our Technology Transfer operation and I am confident she will continue to lead TTO as its permanent leader,” said CU President Bruce D. Benson. “Technology transfer not only brings the leading-edge work of our faculty to markets and to new companies, but also improves lives through discovery and innovation.”

She joined CU Technology Transfer in 2002 and previously served as senior director for technology transfer at CU’s Boulder and Colorado Springs campuses. Before CU, she was director of marketing and co-founder of Roving Planet, a venture-backed Colorado software company specializing in wireless LAN technology.

Since Tallman took on the interim role, nine companies emerged from university research in FY 2014, with an additional three in the current fiscal year, which began July 1. Startup companies are a key measure of technology transfer performance, with CU startups achieving a higher five-year survival rate than small businesses overall in Colorado or nationally.

Startup companies bridge the gap between university research and commercial products and also contribute to the local economy by creating jobs and attracting venture capital. (View an infographic of all startups created from CU technology.)

For example, LineRate Systems was founded in 2008 by CU-Boulder researchers to commercialize their breakthrough in software-defined networking. LineRate received early-stage funding through CU Technology Transfer’s proof of concept investment program. The company was sold to F5 Networks in 2013 for $125 million. Louisville-based GlobeImmune, a CU startup that emerged from research into a vaccine platform with potential applications for cancer and infectious diseases, recently closed its IPO, raising $17.2 million.

“I intend to continue to support efforts across CU campuses to expand commercialization activities,” Tallman said. “Faculty engagement in commercialization builds relationships and industry knowledge. Our team’s intellectual property management and licensing services help faculty achieve commercial goals.”

Friday, September 19, 2014

September Newsletter Now Available

Top stories from TTO's September 2014 newsletter:

Spotlight on CU Startup Sustainability
Startups spun out of University of Colorado technology have enjoyed a much higher survival rate than the average small business nationally or statewide, according to an article in BizWest. CU TTO startup practices were also featured in Tech Transfer Tactics: Raise the bar for new venture creation to fuel start-ups with lasting power.

Move Completed for TTO's Boulder, Administrative Offices
TTO has moved its Boulder campus and UCCS licensing operations, as well as its system administrative offices, to a new location in Boulder.

Over $861M Awarded to University of Colorado for Sponsored Research

Save the Date for CU Conference: Technology Transfer, University Commercialization Efforts, and Patent Strategies

Collaboration Between CU Cancer Center and NantBioScience Targets Ral Protein

GlobeImmune's IPO Raised $17.25 Million

CU-Boulder Water Treatment Technology Shows Promise for Fracking

Move Completed for TTO's Boulder, Administrative Offices

On September 19, TTO moved its Boulder campus and UCCS licensing operations, as well as its system administrative offices, to a new location in Boulder. Our new address is:

CU Technology Transfer Office
4845 Pearl East Circle, Suite 200
Campus Box 588
Boulder, CO 80309

Phone numbers for the Boulder/UCCS licensing group and the administrative group have changed too! To find new phone numbers, please check the contact pages for TTO system administration and TTO Boulder/UCCS. (Our office at the Anschutz Medical Campus has not relocated, and phone numbers for the CU Denver|Anschutz licensing group will not change.)

Monday, September 15, 2014

NantBioScience and CU to Collaborate on Development of Novel Protein Cancer-Fighting Drugs

Partnership will focus on the Ral protein, an unexplored therapeutic target found to play a role in the growth and spread of cancer.

LOS ANGELES (Sep 15, 2014) - NantBioScience, a NantWorks company focused on the discovery and development of innovative treatments for diseases with high unmet medical need, announced today a research collaboration and a exclusive worldwide licensing agreement with the University of Colorado for the development and commercialization of anti-cancer agents designed to target the Ral protein, a cell signaling protein implicated in the growth and spread of cancer. Through this partnership, NantBioScience will receive the exclusive right to develop and commercialize therapeutic and diagnostic products relating to the research activities.

NantBioscience’s broad development program includes novel agents that are designed to stop growth and spread of tumors by interfering with cancer communication pathways. Although the Ral protein has been found to play a role in the most commonly activated signaling pathways across cancer types, including colon, lung and pancreatic cancers, it has not yet been successfully targeted for potential therapeutic intervention. NantBioscience’s partnership with the University of Colorado Comprehensive Cancer Center is focused on the development of clinical compounds designed to block the function of the Ral protein.

“NantBioscience is committed to the discovery and development of cancer fighting therapies that target the key drivers and root causes of tumor growth and spread. Targeting the Ral protein expands our ongoing efforts to silence a key pathway, the RAS pathway, that has been found to be altered and constitutively activated in one out of three cancers,” said Shahrooz Rabizadeh, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of NantBioscience. “We are pleased to be partnering with the University of Colorado, leaders in the science of inhibiting Ral function, to accelerate the development of novel cancer medicines for patients.”

Through structural and computational analysis, compounds that block the activity of Ral were identified by DanTheodorescu,M.D.,Ph.D., director of the University of Colorado Comprehensive Cancer Center, and colleagues demonstrating the feasibility of developing potential treatments for this target. The results were published on September 14 in the journal Nature.

This pursuit of a clinical product targeting Ral is a collaborative effort, with teams from both the University of Colorado and NantBioScience conducting research activities together.

“We are excited to partner with NantBioScience to one day bring our basic research of Ral protein inhibitors to the bedside of patients in the form of a new cancer fighting treatment,” said Theodorescu.

NantBioScience’s portfolio includes clinical compounds designed to target changes at the molecular level based on the genomic and proteomic profile of the tumor, nano albumin-­bound (nab®)‐based molecules, novel remediators of p53 function, mutant K‐Ras inhibitors, and potent multi-kinase inhibitors.

“This collaboration with Dr. Dan Theodorescu and the University of Colorado Comprehensive Cancer Center, furthers our goal to catalyze personalized precision cancer care in our war against cancer," said Patrick Soon-­‐Shiong M.D., CEO of NantBioScience.

About NantBioScience
NantBioScience, a NantWorks company, is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery of medicines designed to target the root cause of cancer growth and spread. Dr. Patrick Soon-­‐Shiong, the creator of Abraxane® and the founder of the nano albumin-­‐bound (nab®) technology platform, established NantBioScience in 2011. With a pipeline of nab®-­‐based molecules and inhibitors of proteins that drive tumor growth, NantBioscience’s mission is to develop medicines designed to treat patients based on the unique molecular fingerprint of the tumor, not the tissue or organ from which the cancer originated. Patients entering clinical trials would be identified after comprehensive genomic and proteomic analysis and enrolled based on this molecular profile to maximize clinical outcome and minimize side effects. NantBioScience and NantWorks, are uniquely positioned to develop molecularly designed drugs and identify patients and their tumor signature at the most granular levels with their suite of analytic tools and cloud based supercomputing capabilities. For more information please visit www.nantworks.com.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Spotlight on CU Startup Sustainability

Startups spun out of University of Colorado technology have enjoyed a much higher survival rate than the average small business nationally or statewide, according to a BizWest article featuring the infographic above.

CU TTO startup practices were also featured in Tech Transfer Tactics:
"What I see happening is a lot of investments by universities in robust start-up infrastructure, trying to drive their start-up communities. I think one of the keys to our success is that the we understand that our role is to be a feeder. I would not say that we are picking winners and losers. What we are doing is picking potential winners to fill a pipeline, and they don't all turn into start-up companies that receive investment, but we have been able to create the platform and potential for these start-ups to happen." (Kate Tallman, CU TTO head)
Tech Transfer Tactics: Raise the bar for new venture creation to fuel start-ups with lasting power.

Click the image below for an interactive poster of CU startup company sustainability:

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Ocugen Commercializing Two CU Biological Drugs to Treat Eye Diseases

One licensed drug candidate has received FDA orphan designation to treat retinitis pigmentosa, allowing for accelerated development. 

AURORA (Jun. 5, 2014) – Ocugen, Inc. and the University of Colorado today announced exclusive license agreements that will allow Ocugen to continue developing two drug candidates for the treatment for ophthalmology indications, and that one of the assets, OCU100, recombinant lens epithelium derived growth factor 1-326 (LEDGF1-326), received orphan-drug status from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for treatment of retinitis pigmentosa (RP), a rare eye disease.

“Orphan drug designation from the FDA’s Office of Orphan Products Development is a significant milestone that will allow Ocugen to accelerate the clinical development of OCU100, which has the potential to be the first approved therapeutic for retinitis pigmentosa,” said Shankar Musunuri, PhD, MBA, founder and chairman of the Ocugen Board of Directors.

Ocugen scientific founder and board member Uday Kompella, PhD, a professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Ophthalmology and Bioengineering at CU’s Anschutz Medical Campus, is the inventor of OCU100. Ocugen licensed all assets related to LEDGF, including LEDGF1-326 and OCU200, an anti-angiogenic tumstatin fusion protein, to be developed for treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD), from the University of Colorado in March 2014.

Retinitis pigmentosa is a rare eye disease caused by inherited gene mutations that lead to retinal degeneration affecting approximately 100,000 people in the United States, according to the Foundation Fighting Blindness. People with RP experience a gradual decline in their vision because photoreceptor cells in the retina die. It is a progressive disorder, and most people with RP are legally blind by age 40. There is no FDA approved therapeutic for RP.

“OCU100 has shown potential as a promising therapeutic agent for treating retinitis pigmentosa by reducing protein aggregation and associated cellular stresses, which are known to contribute to this condition,” said Dr. Kompella. “With impressive preclinical data, we look forward to progressing with a phase 1 study for safety and tolerability in patients sometime in 2015.”

Dr. Kompella said a variety of mutations, including P23H mutation in rhodopsin, a critical protein in the retina that is responsible for vision, have been linked to the development of RP. P23H rhodopsin is known to form large clusters or aggregates within retinal cells, leading to cellular stress and ultimately cell death.

“The role of mutant proteins such as P23H rhodopsin in RP is clearly evident, and OCU100 has shown the potential to be a therapeutic agent that reduces protein aggregation and associated stresses in retinal cells,” he said. “It has the potential to revolutionize the treatment of RP.”

About Orphan Drug Designation
FDA Office of Orphan Products Development (OOPD) grants orphan designation for novel drugs or biologics that treat a rare disease or condition affecting fewer than 200,000 patients in the U.S. Orphan designation qualifies the sponsor of the drug for various development incentives of the Orphan Drug Act (ODA) including seven-year period of U.S. marketing exclusivity, tax credits for qualified clinical testing, waiver of prescription drug user fee for marketing application, and ability to apply for grants. The OOPD also works on rare disease issues with the medical and research communities, professional organizations, academia, governmental agencies, industry, and rare disease patient groups.

About Ocugen, Inc.
Ocugen is advancing novel biologicals discovered based on endogenous proteins with well understood biology at the molecular, cellular, and whole animal level to treat eye diseases. The therapeutic proteins in the pipeline are derived from cell survival factors such as lens epithelium derived growth factor (LEDGF) and anti-angiogenic proteins such as tumstatin. The intellectual property covers a variety of related protein constructs including fusion proteins with superior activity. www.ocugen.com.