For City of Hope Medical Center’s Beckman Research Institute, the “Cabilly patents” are the gift that keeps on giving
And they’re also the overwhelming reason why City of Hope again finished first in licensing income among hospitals and research institutions in the 2010 annual survey by the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM).
Duarte, California-based City of Hope pulled in $202 million in licensing income in 2010, up about 3 percent from the prior year. City of Hope’s 2010 haul exceeded runner-up Sloan Kettering Institute by 45 percent.
George Megaw, director of the office of technology licensing at City of Hope, said the vast majority of that income — all but a few million dollars — comes from the so-called “Cabilly patents,” which are named after immunologist Shmuel Cabilly.
While at City of Hope in the 1980s, Cabilly was awarded patents for new technology for recombinant antibody production in a joint project with Genentech. That technology has since been the basis for more than 20 drugs to hit the market, including Herceptin, Rituxan, Traceba, Raptiva and Xolair. (The Cabilly patents have also been an ongoing source of legal headaches for Genentech for years, but that’s another matter.)
The massive royalty payments stemming from the licensing deals around the Cabilly patents have enabled what Megaw described as a “small, niche institution” like City of Hope to become such a huge player in tech transfer nationally.
Nonetheless, the Cabilly patents won’t be a cash cow for City of Hope forever — the patents expire in 2018, according to Patent Baristas.
City of Hope has created just one startup company during the past two years, but the institution places a much higher priority on licensing its technologies, Megaw said. Broadly speaking, the institution’s research is focused in three areas: cancer, diabetes and infectious diseases, according to Megaw.
“City of Hope really supports and believes in technology transfer,” he said. “It fits well with our core goal of translating research from the bench to the bedside.”
Here are the top 10 technology transfer programs among hospitals and research institutions included in the AUTM survey, ranked by 2010 licensing income:
1. City of Hope National Medical Center & Beckman Research Institute, $202 million
2. Sloan Kettering Institute for Cancer Research, $139 million
3. Massachusetts General Hospital, $77 million
4. Cleveland Clinic, $36 million
5. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, $22 million
6. Brigham & Women’s Hospital, $20 million
7. Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, $14 million
8. Wistar Institute, $13 million
9. Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, $13 million
10. Children’s Hospital Boston, $13 million