Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tech Spotlight: Enzyme Replacement Therapy to Address Elevated Homocysteine Levels

Elevated homocysteine levels are associated with a wide range of disease states, such as   homocystinuria, end-stage renal disease, cardiovascular disease, neural tube defects and   Alzheimer’s disease. With regards to inherited forms of elevated homocysteine, mutations of the gene that encodes the regulatory enzyme, cystathionine beta-synthase (CBS), are the leading cause. These mutations prevent the body from creating the CBS enzyme which   regulates homocysteine levels. Dr. Jan Kraus and his research team at the University of Colorado have characterized the CBS gene and devised methods for detecting the most common mutations of CBS enzyme. Furthermore, they have identified the shortest truncated variant form that still maintains the activity of the CBS enzyme. The truncated form can be used as enzyme replacement therapy for those patients who do not respond to traditional interventions; since the truncated peptide is 3x more active than the original, this treatment is even more attractive than supplementation.

To read a non-confidential summary of this technology, please click the image above. For more CU technologies available for licensing, please visit our Tech Explorer site.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Podcast: Dr. Malik Kahook, UC Denver New Inventor of the Year

W3W3 radio spoke with Malik Kahook, (Associate Professor of Ophthalmology) about his work developing non-invasive treatment for glaucoma:
TTO was instrumental in moving this project forward. I have to admit that initially I did not know much about tech transfer. As a physician and a researcher, my focus really is on how do I get this device to work, how do I actually get this to show the benefit that would actually make me want to move it forward in further studies. And the last thing on the mind is really, how do I deal with tech transfer, how do I worry about intellectual property?
Listen to the podcast or view an archive of all TTO podcasts.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Why Boulder Is America's Best Town for Startups

BusinessWeek recently declared Boulder the "top U.S. destination" for new tech startups:
With the University of Colorado as an anchor and a backyard full of mountains as lifestyle bait, Boulder now has the highest concentration of software engineers per capita in the nation. It's second only to Silicon Valley in percentage of workers employed in tech, according to the American Electronics Assn. Best-selling author and urban development expert Richard Florida says it has the greatest concentration of the "creative class"—scientists, artists, engineers, and the like—in the U.S.
Read the whole thing here, or view a slideshow of the top 10 U.S. cities for startups.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tech Spotlight: Nano-structured Metal–Semiconductor–Metal Photodetector with High Peak Voltage

A research group at the University of Colorado and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has developed a nano-structured MSM photo-detector. This nano-structured MSM photodetector has been operated at a bias voltage of 5V, more than three times higher than that of a regular MSM photodetector.

Since their first introduction around 1975, metal–semiconductor– metal (MSM) photo-detector devices have been used in high speed optoelectronic applications, including fiber-optic links and wireless communication systems. Photodetectors are commonly used to generate short electrical pulses by optoelectronic conversion of optical pulses. An MSM photodetector is composed of interdigitated metal fingers on a semiconductor resulting in a large photosensitive area and a short transit time. The photodetector produces electrical signals by photogenerated carriers that drift towards the metal fingers. Recently the MSM photodetector has been investigated as a potential device for microwave, millimeter-wave or even terahertz-wave applications as the response of MSM photodetector has steadily improved.

To read a non-confidential summary of this technology, please click the image above. For more CU technologies available for licensing, please visit our Tech Explorer site. 

Friday, April 16, 2010

April 2010 Newsletter Now Available

Highlights from TTO's April 2010 newsletter:

TTO to Respond to White House Technology Commercialization Request
The university technology transfer community has received a request for information from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, asking for input on how to support the commercialization of federally-funded research. Special interest has been given to Proof of Concept centers. CU TTO will prepare a White Paper response to the RFI which will be posted on our website upon submission.

Sanofi Pasteur Licenses Vaccine Technology from University of Colorado, Naval Medical Research Center

Flashback Technologies to Commercialize CU Cardiovascular Monitoring Technology

AmideBio Expands Alzheimer's Disease Partnership with University of Colorado

ARCA Raises $6.8M in Q1 of 2010, Announces Issued Patent for Bucindolol

Read the full newsletter, or sign up to receive a monthly email update.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sanofi Pasteur Licenses Vaccine Tech from University of Colorado, Naval Medical Research Center

Licensed tech will be the foundation for a novel E.coli vaccine 

AURORA, Colo. – April 14, 2010 – A vaccine technology developed jointly at the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine and the Naval Medical Research Center (NMRC) was recently licensed to Sanofi Pasteur, a world leader in the vaccine industry. Sanofi plans to develop the technology into a new vaccine protecting against enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC), a group of bacteria that causes serious gastrointestinal infection and watery diarrhea.

ETEC is a common cause of bacterial diarrhea in developing countries, and in severe cases can lead to dehydration and shock when not treated promptly and effectively. Travelers’ diarrhea represents the most common communicable disease threat to U.S. and Coalition forces deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan, and also afflicts up to 60% of the 80 million people who travel from industrialized countries to lesser-developed countries each year. Acute gastroenteritis is also a serious child health threat in the developing world, accounting for almost 1.6 million deaths annually, according to the World Health Organization.

There is currently no effective vaccine against ETEC, but a UC Denver research group led by Randall Holmes and Michael Jobling has been working on this problem for several years alongside an NMRC research group led by Capt. Stephen Savarino. Together, the researchers have developed a vaccine formulation (based on an adhesin technology developed at NMRC) designed to block ETEC’s ability to adhere to intestinal surface cells and neutralize a toxin that causes the diarrhea associated with ETEC infection. Holmes currently chairs the microbiology department at the UCD School of Medicine.

Sanofi Pasteur will continue to develop the technology under a research agreement with NMRC. “The University is enthusiastic about the prospects of helping address a serious clinical need, and sees no better partner for this work than a proven vaccine company such as Sanofi,” said David Poticha of the CU Technology Transfer Office. “This agreement is the product of a fruitful collaboration between the University of Colorado and the Navy, and will now hopefully lead to the rapid and successful development of a new vaccine against ETEC through the expansion of this relationship to include Sanofi."

AmideBio Expands Alzheimer’s Disease Partnership with University of Colorado

BOULDER, Colo. – April 14, 2010 – The University of Colorado and AmideBio, LLC have completed an agreement creating a research collaboration with a CU-Boulder lab, and giving AmideBio an option to newly-discovered drug candidates for Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia in the U.S., and the fifth-leading cause of death for those aged 65 and older. An estimated 5.3 million Americans of all ages have Alzheimer’s disease.1 Alzheimer’s disease typically begins with gradual memory loss; people with advanced Alzheimer’s are often unable to perform basic activities such as dressing and eating without assistance. In the final stages, patients are unable to communicate or recognize family members, and require constant care. Alzheimer’s disease is ultimately fatal, often by causing Alzheimer-related pneumonia.

Research under the new sponsored research agreement with the lab of Michael Stowell, Ph.D. (an associate professor of molecular, cellular and developmental biology) will use a novel screening process to find compounds that affect the interaction between two proteins believed to be involved in Alzheimer’s disease. The agreement gives AmideBio an option to new compounds that are discovered using this screen, which Stowell believes will be useful in treating the disease. “AmideBio’s commitment to our research will help to accelerate the discovery of potential therapeutics for Alzheimer’s by providing both financial support and the large quantities of amyloid peptides needed for screening,” said Stowell. 

Earlier in 2010, AmideBio licensed a CU technology (also from the Stowell lab) for manufacturing recombinant proteins and peptides (molecules which are similar to proteins but smaller). These types of molecules are often key for treating diseases that cannot be addressed using conventional chemical therapeutics, but the field has historically been limited by challenges such as economical manufacturing and delivery. CU’s technology circumvents these problems, particularly those associated with longer and more complex peptides, by leveraging a proprietary recombinant strategy that is economically viable and environmentally sustainable. 

1. 2010 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures. Alzheimer’s Association, 2010.

About AmideBio, LLC
AmideBio, based in Boulder, CO, is a biotechnology company focused on providing recombinant peptide research and clinical products for a diverse array of disease research and disease targets. AmideBio maintains a proprietary platform vector technology that addresses the challenges of historically difficult to manufacture peptides by providing products that are reliable (BioPure™), economical and incorporate environmentally sustainable practices. For more information please visit www.AmideBio.com 

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tech Spotlight: Novel Type I Diabetes Auto-Antigen - Diagnostic and Therapeutic Applications

A joint CU-National Jewish research team led by Kathryn Haskins and John Kappler has identified a series of peptides in chromogranin A (ChgA) that may be the antigen(s) for a group of highly diabetogenic CD4 T cell clones, including the well-studied BDC-2.5 clone. In particular. a natural cleavage product of ChgA appears to be the primary immunogenic peptide.

The research team has also developed antibodies against this peptide. The peptides and the antibodies can be used as diagnostic tools for identifying T1D patients, and they may also provide therapeutic and prophylactic treatments for type I diabetes.

To read a non-confidential summary of this technology, including links to relevant patent and scientific documents, please click the image above. For more CU technologies available for licensing, please visit our Tech Explorer site.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tech Spotlight: FireFly - An Intelligent ‘Light Pen’ Enabling Seamless Collaborative Computing

A research team led by James Sullivan of the University of Colorado Center for LifeLong Learning and Design (L3D) has developed a device that can be used to control a computer system or application, such as a drawing, sketching, or a game program. The device is a pen that contains an LED that is optically tracked by one or more video cameras positioned near the computer screen. As the user points at the screen and draws by squeezing the pen, electronic ink and “gestures” from the pen are wirelessly relayed to the computer and drawn on the screen. This system allows multiple pens to be tracked simultaneously, enabling groups of people to collaborate on the same project, while drawing, marking, annotating or sketching on a single document.

To read a non-confidential summary of this technology, please click the image above. For more CU technologies available for licensing, please visit our Tech Explorer site.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Podcast: Dr. Robert Batey, CU-Boulder Inventor of the Year

W3W3 radio spoke with Rob Batey (Associate Professor of Chemistry & Biochemistry) about his work with RNA 'riboswitches':
The best advice I can give, despite the harsh financial times, there is still a lot of support in the government and private sector for academic research. You may have to beat the bushes a little bit more, convince people that what you're interested in has application in the real world. But I think it's worth spending some time, thinking along those lines and presenting your research in a way where it's clear to people in both the government and the private sector that this could result in some innovative discoveries that could be commercialized.
Listen to the podcast or view an archive of all TTO podcasts