Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Event: Entrepreneurship Under the Microscope

Hosted annually by TTO and the Leeds School of Business' Deming Center for Entrepreneurship, this luncheon celebrates innovation and commercialization on the CU campus and beyond. Meet and network with researchers, administration and business community members - tables are hosted by leading CU researchers and industry representatives from biotech, software, cleantech and other key research fields.

  • Gregor P. Henze, Professor of Architectural Engineering at CU-Boulder; co-founder of Clean Urban Energy, a CU licensee developing software for efficient energy management in large buildings
  • Stein Sture, Vice Chancellor for Research at CU-Boulder
The event will also include a poster session highlighting CU-Boulder technologies ready to take the next step toward commercialization, as well as opportunities for informal networking.

When: Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Where: Stadium Club at Folsom Field, Boulder
Registration: online. (There is no cost for CU faculty, staff and grad students - CU attendees ONLY may register here.)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Tech Spotlight: Improved Micro Cryogenic Cooler

A cryogenic cooler is an instrument used to cool devices to very low temperatures to attain low thermal noise, high system bandwidth, or achieve a super conducting state. Micro cryogenic coolers (MCCs) have drawn a lot of attention recently due to their small volume and fast thermal response. A research group at the University of Colorado and NIST has developed a novel MCC concept that provides unparalleled advantages to current MCCs and thermoelectric coolers in high-sensitivity devices, such as sensors. Their design minimizes volume, increases the heat-exchanging surface, and enhances thermal isolation.

To learn more, please view a short, non-confidential summary of this technology, or go directly to the key scientific publication. For more CU technologies available for licensing, please visit our Tech Explorer site.

Friday, January 20, 2012

January 2012 Newsletter Now Available

Top stories from TTO's January newsletter:

CU Announces Annual Technology Transfer Awards
MediciNova and CU Collaborate on Potential Therapy for Traumatic Brain Injury

Omni Bio to Conduct New Human Clinical Trials
CU licensee Omni Bio Pharmaceutical, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, announced its intention to commence new human clinical trials to test the efficacy of Alpha-1 antitrypsin (AAT) as a treatment in Type 1 diabetes and graft versus host disease (GVHD). 

ARCA Receives Patent for Heart Drug
CU licensee ARCA biopharma received a new patent for its genetic targeting method to treat patients with its heart disease drug Gencaro. Now that it has the new patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Broomfield-based ARCA plans to raise new money to pay for a Phase 3 clinical trial to test the atrial fibrillation drug.

Clarimedix Secures Investment for Proof-of-Concept Study in Cerebral Vasospasm
Clarimedix, Inc., a CU licensee focused on the development of non-invasive therapeutics for the treatment of disorders associated with vascular dysfunction, announced that it has secured an investment from the Johnson & Johnson Corporate Office of Science and Technology (COSAT). The funds will be used for a human proof-of-concept study to determine the viability of Clarimedix's product for cerebral vasospasm.

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

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Tech Spotlight: Intra-Cardiac Camera System for Improved Cardiac Visualization in Humans and Animals

A collaboration between University of Colorado researchers Mark Rentschler (mechanical engineering) and Max Mitchell (cardiothoracic surgery) has resulted in the development of a novel cardiac camera that allows clinicians to rely on a direct video representation when monitoring for cardiac anomalies or proper device implantation. The camera provides unsurpassed visibility (particularly in smaller hearts, as in pediatrics or animal surgery) with minimal tissue invasion, and can also be outfitted with a number of tools for manipulation of the cardiac tissue. In particular, it could be used to precisely guide catheter-based instruments for interventions such as device placement, suturing, etc. The camera can also serve as a verification tool to ensure proper placement, operation, and effectiveness of cardiac intervention devices.

To learn more, please view a short, non-confidential summary of this collaboration. For more CU technologies available for licensing, please visit our Tech Explorer site.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

CU Announces Annual Technology Transfer Awards

Researchers working on eye disease, chronic pain and cleantech among those honored for technology commercialization.

DENVER (Jan. 17, 2012)  – The University of Colorado Technology Transfer Office (TTO) will host its annual awards ceremony tonight, honoring several faculty researchers, two companies founded on university research, and several members of the local entrepreneurial community.

The TTO will present these awards during a banquet on Tuesday, Jan. 17, at 5:30 p.m. at the historic Tivoli Turnhalle. The awards will follow a panel discussion offering faculty perspectives on the origins of university inventions.

In the last two decades, inventions by CU researchers have led to the formation of 114 new companies. Of these, 85 have operations in Colorado, seven have “gone public,” becoming publicly traded companies (either through an IPO or via a reverse merger), and 17 have been acquired by public companies. In total, companies created based on CU technology have attracted over $5.6 billion in financing.

“The University of Colorado is a primary driver for the Colorado economy in many ways – one way that is often less visible than our thousands of graduates, new buildings and faculty accolades is the commercialization of research,” said David Allen, associate vice president for technology transfer at CU. “This event recognizes excellence in the people and licensee companies that exemplify CU’s success in transforming research into real-world impact.”

The researchers and companies recognized this year represent all CU campuses, and are developing technologies ranging from novel treatments for chronic pain, eye disease and metabolic syndrome to new materials with applications in clean energy, and techniques for more efficient biofuels and solar power. This year’s award winners include:

Jeffrey L. Olson, Inventor of the Year, CU Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus. Olson, an associate professor of ophthalmology, specializes in the medical and surgical management of retinal diseases like macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and retinal detachment. One of his inventions, a  method for preserving eyesight through the use of nanotechnology, is licensed to a CU startup currently raising Series A financing. 

Linda R. Watkins, Inventor of the Year, CU-Boulder. Watkins, a distinguished professor of psychology, has developed both novel drugs and new uses of known drugs targeting various disorders with unmet medical needs, including chronic and neuropathic pain, multiple sclerosis, ALS and addiction. Her inventions have led to numerous industry collaborations and licenses, as well as the formation of a new company, Xalud Therapeutics.

Richard J. Johnson, New Inventor of the Year, CU Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus. Johnson is chief of the division of renal diseases and hypertension; his research has focused on the mechanisms of renal injury and progression, including in diabetes and hypertension. Recent work has also examined the role of uric acid and fructose in obesity, metabolic syndrome, diabetes and hypertension.

Wei Zhang, New Inventor of the Year, CU-Boulder. Zhang, an assistant professor of chemistry & biochemistry, is developing novel materials with potential applications in solar energy conversion, gas separation and storage, chemical sensing and catalysis.

Anatoliy O. Pinchuk, New Inventor of the Year, CU-Colorado Springs. Pinchuk is an assistant professor of physics and energy science; his research focuses on nano-materials for intracellular imaging and optical bio-chemical sensors.

OPX Biotechnologies, Bioscience Company of the Year. OPXBIO (Boulder, CO) is a venture-backed company making renewable bio-based chemicals and fuels that are lower cost, higher return and more sustainable than existing petroleum-based products.

Phobos Energy, Physical Sciences/Engineering/IT Company of the Year. Phobos Energy (Menlo Park, CA; Lafayette, CO) is focused on increasing energy production, decreasing costs, and opening up new applications for solar photovoltaic power production.

S. Gail Eckhardt, Business Advisor of the Year. Eckhardt is chief of the division of medical oncology at the Anschutz Medical Campus. As an advisor to TTO on drug discovery and development projects, she has been critically important in facilitating industry collaborations involving not just her lab, but labs of her CU collaborators.

Michael R. Bristow, Serial University Start-up Entrepreneur Award.
Bristow, a professor of medicine (division of cardiology) at the Anschutz Medical Campus, was a founder and former chief science and medical officer of Myogen, Inc. (acquired by Gilead Sciences, Inc. in 2006). He is the President and CEO of ARCA biopharma (Broomfield, CO), a company he founded in 2003 with the goal of developing genetically targeted therapies for heart failure. In 2007 he cofounded miRagen Therapeutics, (Boulder, CO), a company dedicated to utilizing the biologic properties of microRNAs in developing therapies for cardiovascular diseases. 

Additionally, two CU researchers were inducted into the Pinnacles of Inventorship, an all-stars group recognizing continuous commitment to best practices in technology transfer:
Kristi S. Anseth (Distinguished Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering, CU-Boulder) and Charles A. Dinarello (Professor of Medicine and Immunology, Anschutz Medical Campus).

Monday, January 16, 2012

MediciNova and CU Collaborate on Potential Therapy for Traumatic Brain Injury

San Diego, Calif., January 16, 2012 – MediciNova, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company that is publicly traded on the Nasdaq Global Market (Trading Symbol: MNOV) and the Jasdaq Market of the Osaka Securities Exchange (Code Number: 4875), and the University of Colorado (CU) Boulder disclosed a license agreement for the use of ibudilast (MN-166/AV411) for the treatment of post-traumatic brain injury (TBI). Led by the research of Daniel Barth, Ph.D., Professor of Neuroscience and Psychology at CU-Boulder, ibudilast demonstrated significant efficacy in a model of post-TBI anxiety, one of the most common disorders caused by TBI.

Dr. Barth and colleague, Krista Rodgers, discovered that a short course of systemic ibudilast administered over a month after concussion injury reversed post-TBI anxiety in rats for a 3 month measurement period following treatment. “While we had initially observed impressive reduction of anxiety behavior when ibudilast was administered just prior to head injury, we were, frankly, surprised that a few days of treatment so long after injury could provide notable efficacy for up to three months thereafter. This finding suggests that post-traumatic anxiety in humans may have a strong physiological basis in neuro-inflammation and that the ongoing neuropathy may be treatable with drugs like ibudilast that attenuate and perhaps interrupt the brain’s inflammatory response,” commented Dr. Barth.

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major public health concern, with approximately 1.7 million people in the United States alone sustaining a TBI each year. The long-term consequences of TBI include neuropsychiatric disorders, of which anxiety disorders are the most prevalent. Little is known about the neural mechanisms of post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD) including anxiety and effective pharmacotherapy options for individuals suffering such a disorder are limited. Dr. Barth and colleagues have hypothesized that unchecked activation of glial cells in the brain may contribute to some of the post-TBI disorders. Ibudilast is a selective inhibitor of macrophage-migration inhibitory factor (MIF) and certain phosphodiesterases with well-recognized activity as an attenuator of glial cell activation.

MediciNova is developing ibudilast (MN-166) for several neurological disorders. Recognizing both the unmet need and potential strategic fit with the University of Colorado, Yuichi Iwaki, M.D., Ph.D., President and CEO of MediciNova commented, “we are excited to participate in research aimed at better understanding the traumatic brain injury disease process and in further exploring the potential for MN-166 as a pharmacotherapy.”