News & Events

2015 OTL Calendar Cover

Read the latest news and watch videos about UF OTL, UF Tech Connect ®, startup companies, programs and events below. Follow @UFOTL on Facebook and Twitter for these updates and more. For the Tech Alert email service that alerts subscribers to new technologies available for licensing in their areas of interest, sign up here. See our latest annual OTL Calendar publication here. You can find an archive of OTL TechNotes and UF Tech Connect Update newsletters here.

Startups in the News

  • AGTC Announces Data Evaluating Novel AAV-Based Gene Therapy as a Potential Treatment for Alpha-1 Antitrypsin (AAT) Deficiency (GlobeNewswire)
    Study Results Show That Vector DNA Persists at High Levels for 12 Months After One-Time Intramuscular Injection and Directs Sustained Expression of AAT Protein UF startup Applied Genetic Technologies Corporation, a biotechnology company conducting human clinical trials of adeno-associated virus (AAV)-based gene therapies for the treatment of rare diseases, announced data evaluating the use of recombinant AAV-AAT vector gene delivery to muscle in patients with alpha-1-antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency, an inherited genetic disorder that results in severe loss of lung function and is caused by complete or partial deficiency of the alpha-1 antitrypsin protein. Results were published online in the peer-reviewed journal Human Gene Therapy and will appear in the January print issue of the journal. “Currently, individuals affected by pulmonary manifestations of AAT deficiency are frequently treated with weekly intravenous infusions of AAT derived from donated human plasma, a procedure that is inconvenient and cost prohibitive,” said Philip R. Johnson, M.D., corresponding study author. “Phase 2 human studies evaluating gene transfer as a potential treatment option have been encouraging and these data further suggest that a one-time, AAV-based intramuscular AAT vector injection can have a durable response and direct sustained expression of the AAT protein.”  ... Read more »
  • World’s First MRIdian Center Celebrates Two Years of MRI-Guided Radiation Treatments (CNN Money)
    UF startup ViewRay, Inc. announced the two-year anniversary of treating patients with MRI-guided radiation therapy at Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Mo. An international leader in cancer treatment and research, Siteman Cancer Center has a rich history of adopting and helping to develop new technology with a focus on improving patient care and outcomes. In January 2014, Siteman Cancer Center began treating patients using the world’s first and only MRI-guided radiation therapy system – called MRIdian – that enables tumors to be visualized during treatment. The technology allows clinicians to see a patient’s internal anatomy in real-time and keep the radiation beams on target when the tumor moves during treatment, thus compensating for patient breathing and subtle organ motion, which may move the tumor out of the desired position in the radiation beam. “We congratulate the Siteman team as they enter their third year of demonstrating the benefits of treating cancer patients with MRI-guided radiation therapy,” said Chris A. Raanes, President and Chief Executive Officer of ViewRay. “We value their thought-leadership and have channeled what we have learned from their clinical experience with the MRIdian system into our future innovation in MRI-guided radiation therapy.”... Read more »
  • Philips and Banyan Biomarkers Partner to Develop and Commercialize New Handheld Blood Test to Detect and Evaluate Concussions (BusinessWire)
    Royal Philips and UF startup Banyan Biomarkers, Inc. announced that they have entered into a multi-year joint development agreement to develop and commercialize a new handheld blood test to detect and evaluate mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) – also known as concussion – at the point of care. The new handheld test will be based on Philips’ Minicare I-20 system. The financial details of the agreement were not disclosed. The collaboration unites Philips’ strength in patient monitoring and handheld diagnostics technologies, as well as, clinical decision support applications for use in acute care settings, and Banyan Biomarkers’ knowledge of biomolecules that are indicative of neurological injuries. “Point-of-care diagnostics for acute care settings, such as handheld blood tests for Emergency Departments, will play a critical role in improving patient outcomes and reducing healthcare costs,” said Marcel van Kasteel, CEO of Handheld Diagnostics at Philips. “The joint development agreement with Banyan Biomarkers is another great example of our expansion into this fast growing market. Our innovative Minicare technology platform and partnerships are a firm foundation for our ambition to become a leader in this new growth market for Philips.”... Read more »
  • Applied Genetic (AGTC) Reports Early Data on Cone-Specific Promoters for Use in Gene Therapy of Achromatopsia, Other Retinal Diseases (StreetInsider)
    UF startup Applied Genetic Technologies Corporation, a biotechnology company conducting human clinical trials of adeno-associated virus (AAV)-based gene therapies for the treatment of rare eye diseases, announced preclinical data evaluating cone-specific promoters for use in gene therapy of achromatopsia (ACHM) and other retinal diseases. Results were published online in the peer-reviewed journal Human Gene Therapy and will appear in the January print issue. In the study, AGTC investigators designed and constructed a series of short promoter sequences (PR1.1, PR1.5, and PR1.7) based on the 2.1 kb human L-opsin promoter (previously shown to efficiently and selectively drive gene expression in cone cells of mice and dogs). The novel short promoters were first evaluated for their efficiency and specificity in driving green fluorescent protein (GFP) expression in normal mice and cynomolgus macaques. The promoters were then tested for their ability to rescue cone function in a mouse disease model of achromatopsia associated with mutations in the CNGB3 gene. Mutations in CNGB3 are the underlying genetic cause of approximately half of achromatopsia cases in humans.... Read more »
  • Nanotherapeutics Grants Worldwide Rights to Amend Surgical, Inc. for NanoFUSE® DBM
    UF startup Nanotherapeutics, Inc., an integrated biopharmaceutical company with a focus on advanced development and manufacturing, announced that the Company has granted an exclusive worldwide license to its proprietary bone void filler product, NanoFUSE® DBM (demineralized bone matrix), to Alachua, FL-based Amend Surgical, Inc. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed, however, under the license agreement, Nanotherapeutics will become a minority shareholder in Amend Surgical. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-cleared NanoFUSE® DBM is a novel composite allograft (human tissue graft) expressly designed to optimize surgical handling performance, graft stability, and osteoproductivity and has expanded 510(k) marketing clearance from the FDA for use in spinal fusion surgery. Specifically, NanoFUSE® DBM has been cleared for use with autograft (transplanted bone from a patient’s own body) as a bone graft extender in the posterolateral spine. As such, it represents an important tool for the orthopedic surgeon and is the first off-the-shelf DBM product containing bioactive glass available for use in an orthopedic clinical setting. As an adjunct to DBM, the incorporation of bioactive glass facilitates operative site graft containment through rapid bone bonding and the subsequent activation of cellular osteogenesis (bone formation). In particular, the combined properties of DBM and bioactive glass come together to create a highly favorable environment for bone fusion, as it remodels into the recipient’s skeletal system. The malleable, putty-like NanoFUSE® DBM is placed by the surgeon into bony voids or gaps within the skeletal system that are not intrinsic to the stability of the bony structure (e.g., the extremities, pelvis and, as a bone graft extender, posterolateral spine). These gaps may be surgically created osseous defects or a result of prior traumatic injury. NanoFUSE® DBM is formulated so that it reconstitutes into a paste upon addition of a sterile fluid, such as saline, water for injection and/or autologous blood.... Read more »

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OTL News and Events

  • UF Ranked in Top 10 for Licenses, Startups (The Independent Florida Alligator)
    Over the past 14 years, UF’s Office of Technology Licensing has launched more than 175 biomedical and technology startups. Nationally, UF is within the top 10 in both its number of research licenses and startups, ranking seventh for licenses and eighth for startups out of 250 institutions, according to a recently published licensing survey from the Association of University Technology Managers.... Read more »
  • UF Among Nation’s Leaders in Startups, Licensing and Life-Sciences Tech Transfer (UF News)
    Jaundice, chronic bronchitis, and other lung and liver problems are a daily struggle for the 1 in 2,500 Americans with alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, a genetic condition that can cause serious lung disease in adults or liver disease at any age. About 19 million people in the U.S. who do not have these symptoms carry the defective gene that causes this disorder... Read more »
  • Researchers: Tap Into a New Source of Funding
    As it gets harder and harder to find funding to move your innovation from the bench to the marketplace, SBIR grants are more important than ever. Help increase your competitive edge by joining us for our Oct. 7  SBIR and STTR workshop run by Jim Greenwood of Greenwood Consulting, nationally known for helping companies, entrepreneurs and inventors like you achieve... Read more »
  • Assoc. Director Jane Muir Among Women Who Make a Difference Honored by Girl Scouts (Gainesville Sun)
    Assoc. Director Jane Muir Among Women Who Make a Difference Honored by Girl Scouts (Gainesville Sun) Brownies, Daisies and Juniors dressed in brown vests packed with Girl Scouts badges sat among a sea of guests to honor five of Gainesville’s most accomplished women on Thursday. At the ceremony the University of Florida Hilton, the Girl Scouts of Gateway Council celebrated Jane... Read more »
  • UF among nation’s leaders in licensing, patents and startups (UF News)
    The UF Office of Technology Licensing helped to launch Sentinel Diagnostic Imaging in fiscal year 2013, along with 15 other startup companies based on UF research discoveries. According to statistics recently released by the Association of University Technology Managers as part of its annual licensing survey, the 16 startups launched that year put UF sixth in the nation, ranked among... Read more »

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