OTMC Celebrates 100th Licensing Deal
The Office of Technology Management and Commercialization (OTMC
) at Moffitt Cancer Center finished another exciting year with 21 new license agreements that have pushed the office to more than 100 license agreements signed since its inception. This is a significant milestone for a young, nine-year-old office, which is growing into a best-in-class technology transfer organization.
Congratulations to Moffitt researchers and clinicians whose cutting-edge inventions made this monumental milestone possible. Licensing transforms a discovery or idea, usually funded through grants and philanthropic sources, to industry-sponsored product development. Licensing is an opportunity for a Moffitt discovery to be brought to the market to provide new hope to cancer patients.
“Licensing technologies is critical to move exciting discoveries from the laboratory environment to the clinical setting,” says Jarett Rieger, director of OTMC at Moffitt. “Reaching the 100th license agreement signifies a major step forward for Moffitt’s rising technology transfer program.”
OTMC, established in 2004, is considered a “young” office by technology transfer standards. It takes many years for an office to develop relationships, secure patents, enter into licenses, and have licensees bring products to the market.
Growing Intellectual Property Portfolio
Even with ongoing challenges of reduced funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Moffitt faculty and researchers continue to innovate and make discoveries. Last year, 39 new inventions and copyrightable works were submitted to OTMC, which corresponds to a significant number of new technologies feeding the intellectual property portfolio.
During the 2013 fiscal year, 34 original patent applications were filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. These are the first applications filed to initiate patent protection. During last year, 102 worldwide patent applications were filed with international patent offices. Once OTMC licenses a technology to a licensing partner, the partner assumes control of international patent filings and payment of patent costs, which saves Moffitt hundreds of thousands of dollars in patent expenses.
Additionally, OTMC was proud that five patent applications progressed into issued patents last fiscal year. The issuance of a patent is a significant accomplishment and conveys that the government deems the invention to be valid. The patenting process is long and tough, and it is filled with great uncertainty.
“The brilliant Moffitt faculty and staff are collaborating every day and making discoveries to address unmet medical needs,” says Alan List, M.D.
, Moffitt CEO and president. “One viable commercialization route for novel discoveries is to spinout a company, and I am pleased many faculty and staff are pursuing start-ups to advance and bring their technologies to market.”
“The fact that researchers are forming start-ups means that we are generating findings that merit translation for the benefit of patients,” says Thomas Sellers, Ph.D., M.P.H.
, center director of Moffitt. “In addition, the start-ups provide new sources of capital to the researchers, sponsored research opportunities to Moffitt and economic development benefits to our local community.”
OTMC worked with Moffitt researcher Lori Hazlehurst, Ph.D.
, and her team to transform their discovery and development idea into reality. Read more about their story.