CLEVELAND, Ohio — Technology transfer — moving research out of institutions and into companies that can develop and market products with it — was a healthy enterprise nationwide in fiscal 2007.
Meanwhile, research institutions in Northeast Ohio were more successful than those elsewhere in the state at leveraging research spending with licensing revenue, said Baiju Shah, president and chief executive of BioEnterprise, the health care development organization in Northeast Ohio.
Tech transfer spurred nearly two new products and more than one new company every day during fiscal 2007, according to the latest U.S. Licensing Activity Survey by the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM).
That translates to 686 products introduced and 555 companies started in the year ended June 30 by 197 research institutions that responded to the survey, AUTM said in its report.
Licensing agreements usually are the means by which universities transfer technologies to companies. In fiscal 2007, 5,109 licensing options were struck by institutions answering AUTM’s survey.
And the more licensing dollars an institution generates in relation to overall research spending, the higher its research leverage.
“By my tally, Northeast Ohio institutions are responsible for more than two-thirds of all licensing results even though they represent only one-third of the research base,” said Shah of BioEnterprise.
As usual, Case Western Reserve University generated the greatest amount of licensing revenue in fiscal 2007, according to the AUTM survey. However, Ohio University and the University of Akron were the most efficient at creating licensing revenue from their research. The University of Dayton and Ohio State University were the least efficient:
2007 license income
2007 research expenditures
Case Western Reserve University
University of Akron
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital
Ohio State University
University of Toledo
University of Cincinnati
Kent State University
University of Dayton
The Association of University Technology Managers told two Ohio success stories in its survey report.
- University of Akron researchers led by Wiley J. Youngs have identified silver-based compounds, known for their antibacterial and antiseptic qualities, that can treat bacterial lung infections, pneumonia and cystic fibrosis. The researchers’ first product, Silvamist, is an inhaled drug candidate to treat respiratory disorders and lung infections. Silvamist was licensed to Akron University start-up Akron Research Commercialization Corp., which is commercializing the drug and has applied to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to market it.
- University of Cincinnati researchers led by Daniel Hassett identified a bacterium that grows in the lung-clogging mucus found in the airways of cystic fibrosis patients. A mutation in the bacterium makes it easily killed by sodium nitrite, a chemical commonly used to cure lunch meat. A San Diego entrepreneur is interested in developing an inhaled sodium nitrite treatment for cystic fibrosis and other patients. Ares Pharmaceuticals licensed Hassett’s sodium nitrite finding and is using it to developing a therapeutic.