Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tech Spotlight: IL-10 for Suppression of Neuropathic Pain and Enhancement of Morphine Analgesia

Dr. Linda Watkins’ lab at the University of Colorado at Boulder studies how to treat chronic pain. While all currently available therapies target neurons, Dr. Watkins’ work has shown that a major player in the development and maintenance of neuropathic pain is a non-neuronal cell called glia. Glia outnumber neurons 10 to 1 and when activated can compromise the ability of analgesics to suppress pain by producing proinflammatory cytokines causing an enhanced and prolonged pain experience. The anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-10 (IL-10) has the ability to suppress the production and function of many proinflammatory cytokines released by activated glia. Therefore, IL-10 has emerged as a novel drug candidate to treat neuropathic pain.

Dr. Watkins’ research has shown that intrathecal administration of IL-10 protein provides relief from chronic pain in animal models. This analgesic effect is achieved through introduction of plasmid DNA (pDNA) encoding IL-10. Moreover, prolonged analgesia is achieved through encapsulating this plasmid DNA in a poly-lactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA) degradable micro-particle which slowly releases the plasmid in the CSF and induces macrophages to take-up (phagocytose) the plasmid, leading to higher IL-10 gene-expression levels. Ongoing studies additionally demonstrate utility in a number of other neurological disorders.

Patent rights related to this technology have been optioned to Xalud Therapeutics, a start-up company actively seeking funding. 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.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

May 2010 Newsletter Now Available

Highlights from TTO's May 2010 newsletter:

TTO Responds to White House Technology Commercialization Request
Last month the university technology transfer community received a request for information from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Economic Council, asking for input on how to support the commercialization of federally-funded research and Proof of Concept Centers. CU TTO has submitted two white papers in response to this request: "University Technology Transfer Effectiveness" (PDF) and "The University of Colorado Proof of Concept (POC) Program" (PDF).

Boulder Innovation Center Tracks its Impact
Since 2006, clients of the Boulder Innovation Center (BIC) have added 249 jobs, notched cumulative revenue of $59.4 million and raised $30.7 million in capital, according to a metrics report released last month by the local business incubator. The 2009 Metrics Report includes data resulting from annual surveys of past and current clients of the nonprofit, which was formed in mid-2005 to assist in the growth of startups and early-stage companies and also to help commercialize emerging technologies. David Allen, associate vice president for technology transfer at CU, lauded the university's relationship with the center, noting that dozens of technologies are passed to the nonprofit on an annual basis.

GlobeImmune Drug Gets Positive Results

ARCA Reaches Agreement with FDA on Heart-drug Study

InDevR to Collaborate with Scientists at the CDC to Develop New Influenza Virus Surveillance Assay

BaroFold Grants Exclusive License for Interferon Beta Products Developed Using PreEMT™ Technology to Nuron Biotech

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

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tech Spotlight: Three-Dimensional Super-resolution Optical Imaging in the Nanometer Regime

The core of this invention is the combination of any single-molecule active-control method, such as PALM, F-PALM or STORM, with an optical/digital design that optimizes accuracy in the 3D spatial  estimation of the emitter position from the measurement of the optical response. The optical system could include scanning, wide field, or hybrid modalities.

 The primary advantage of the present invention is increased accuracy — compared to the biplane method or the astigmatic imaging method, the present invention encodes z information into a variable that changes strongly through the focal volume. The effect is to produce a much larger total gradient in the signal with z, and hence a much higher estimation accuracy. Resolutions between 10nm and 20nm are possible. Another important advantage of this technology is the simplicity of the optical setup required to yield super-resolution information in three dimensions. All that is necessary is a phase mask or a spatial light modulator in the detection path of a conventional single- molecule fluorescence microscope; there is no need for a complex arrangement of   interfering pumping beams or for two detection pathways.

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, May 17, 2010

Podcast: Dr. Mark Rentschler, CU-Boulder New Inventor of the Year

W3W3 radio spoke with Mark Rentschler (Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering) about his research focus on robotics-assisted surgery:
I had a lot of ideas and talking with the surgeons, we had a lot of concepts that we wanted to push forward and I understood, based on my past experience, how important Tech Transfer was. So within the first three months of my appointment here, I had started talking with them and trying to lay this groundwork - they're a great organization to work with and they make it very easy.
Listen to the podcast or view an archive of all TTO podcasts.

New York Times Calls Boulder "Magnet for High-Tech Start-Ups"

Following on the heels of a BusinessWeek article rating Boulder the top U.S. destination for startups, the New York Times published this piece highlighting Boulder's growing VC community:
“Boulder has reached this beautiful sweet spot, where it has many advantages of a university town — tech and talent and openness — but without many of the costs and traffic and congestion that may disadvantage incumbent centers of innovation,” Mr. Florida [Richard Florida, author of “The Rise of the Creative Class”] said.
Read the full article here.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tech Spotlight: Therapeutic and Diagnostic Applications of an Autoantigen (IGRP) in Type I Diabetes

Dr. John Hutton of the University of Colorado has identified a new autoantigen that interacts with pathogenic T-cells, which are important in the development and progression of Type I (or juvenile) diabetes in humans. The identified autoantigen has potential to be used therapeutically as an immunotolerogen, which would ultimately slow the severity or halt progression of disease by preventing T-cell activation, proliferation and promulgation of the destructive autoimmune response. Diagnostic applications could demonstrate the onset of autoimmune pathology via detection of autoantigens correlated with disease, detection of autoreactive T-cells and autoantibodies, as well as monitor the effectiveness of therapeutic interventions, among various other immuneassays.

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.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tech Spotlight: Flexible, MEMS-controlled Photonic Crystals for Use in Optical and Nano-photonic Devices

CU researchers Wounjhang Park and Jeong-Bong Lee have developed a tunable photonic crystal structure, the flexible photonic crystal, that can be controlled by a NEMS/MEMS actuator. Due to the sensitivity of photonic band structure to the physical changes in crystal structure, a very large tunability can be achieved. Also, the device structure is compatible with the lithographic fabrication technique and is therefore appropriate for monolithic integration with other semiconductor-based opto-electronic devices.

By providing real-time control over the unique optical properties of PC structures, the flexible photonic crystal will serve as a platform for nano-scale photonic devices such as optical switches, routers and modulators, enabling next-gen communication, signal processing, computing and information display devices. By creating a means to dynamically control the photonic band structures, this technology also opens up the possibility of designing and developing a new class of nano-photonic devices that can exhibit previously unachievable or dramatically improved functionalities, and can also be large-scale integrated to produce advanced integrated photonic systems.

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, May 3, 2010

TTO Responds to White House Technology Commercialization Request

Last month the university technology transfer community received a request for information from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Economic Council, asking for input on how to support the commercialization of federally-funded research and Proof of Concept Centers. CU TTO has submitted two white papers in response to this request: "University Technology Transfer Effectiveness" (PDF) and "The University of Colorado Proof of Concept (POC) Program" (PDF). Excerpts:
A starting point is to vociferously acknowledge that today basically no federal resources are directed to universities for commercialization of university research." (From "University Technology Transfer Effectiveness.")
An effective university POC program or POC Center can be an extension of the research enterprise of its host institution, and augment the economic and clinical impact of such institutions through advancement of fundamental research into novel technologies and growth oriented companies. At the broadest level, a POC program has the ability to knit together a local innovation ecosystem to produce much greater impact of federal research funding and ensure enduring economic development value. (From "The University of Colorado Proof of Concept (POC) Program.")
Please use the links above to access the full documents.