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Summer & Fall 2012
It’s About Time
How revolutionary technology from a UT HSC–Houston spin-out
is mitigating the negative effects of strokes.
A new venture fund for UT System startups
Better, Stronger, Faster
Commercialization highlights from around UT System institutions over the past year
15 UT System Institutions, 15 twitter feeds to follow
A message from the Vice Chancellor
Welcome to the first edition of Horizons – a publication of The University of Texas System (UT System) Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC). Big things are afoot at the UT System OTC. Beginning in the Fall of 2011, OTC was realigned to be a part of the Office of General Counsel. The new alignment increases efficiency by leveraging important working relationships across all staff levels and will create an even closer working relationship between myself as General Counsel and Bryan Allinson, Executive Director of Technology Commercialization and Advisory Services, to better serve the UT System’s commercialization goals. Combined with the launch of the UT System Horizon Fund and establishment of the Chancellor’s Technology Commercialization Advisory Cabinet, the UT System is committing more resources and sharpening focus on elevating UT System commercialization to the very top of the market. We hope you enjoy Horizons and will stay with us as we launch even more initiatives in this vital area, in the months to come. – Barry Burgdorf
THE OFFICE OF TECHNOLOGY COMMERCIALIZATION
FRANCISCO G. CIGARROA Chancellor, UT System
BARRY BURGDORF Vice Chancellor and General Counsel
B R YA N A L L I N S O N Executive Director
On The Horizon In Brief It’s About Time Technology Showcase Chancellor’s Technology Cabinet Technology Transfer and Research Committee
1 2 4 6 9 12
Horizons is published by the Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC) at the University of Texas System. Horizons is dedicated to showcasing the newest developments in technology commercialization at the UT System, as well as detailing new ventures coming from within the OTC. For additional information about Horizons or its contents, contact us via email at email@example.com.
An exclusive UT startup venture fund
“Soon, I envision a larger fund focused on serving all of the venture needs of the UT System, including thematic partnership, multi-institutional collaborations and staffed by principals with experience in different strategic fields,” said Allinson. “The fund will also make use of entrepreneurs-in-residence to help establish and grow new ventures.” The Horizon Fund has already invested in several companies, and with plans for expanding its scope, it’s fast becoming the centerpiece of the UT System’s efforts to commercialize its institutions’ technologies and deliver the ideas of its faculty and researchers to the world.
and enhance the University’s stake in its investments
of Texas System
UT HORIZON FUND AT A GLANCE
The new venture development aspect focuses on providing UT System startups with experienced business leaders who will allow the ventures to be successful, as well as positioning the companies for success through the proof of relevance stage of product development. One of the most critical steps for new companies is seasoned guidance during the proof of concept stages of development. Funding to attract skilled entrepreneurs affords leadership and experience for new companies that they would otherwise be without. Helping startups through these steps by decreasing the chance of failure equates to better returns for the UT System. The existing venture development aspect concentrates on maintaining the UT System’s equity in its investments. Diluting equity in previous investments can cause the UT System to miss out on returns that could otherwise be put toward future research and ventures. For example, Stanford’s co-investment in Google prior to its IPO resulted in $336 million going back to the university1. Ensuring that previous investments are being followed up on and protected will safeguard the UT System’s stake in these startups and garner greater returns for the System.
seeks to expand entrepreneurial opportunities
The University of Texas System (UT System) has the abundance of talent and brilliant minds necessary to bring new and groundbreaking innovations to the world. But translating ideas into usable technologies isn’t always easy, and for faculty and students, with limitations on time necessary to commercialize research, the challenges can be daunting. The UT System’s Horizon Fund aims bridge the gap between the emerging technologies coming out of UT and their real world applications. A mutually beneficial, two-way street, the Horizon Fund focuses on funding new and existing ventures while striving to provide the UT System with the potential for a return on investment. “The UT Horizon Fund is the strategic fund of the UT System focusing on UT owned technologies, assets, faculty and students,” said Bryan Allinson, Executive Director of the Office of Technology Commercialization. “ A startup that has not licensed a UT owned IP is not eligible for investment.” The Horizon Fund is comprised of both new and existing venture development. This ensures that the Fund will be able to reach ventures at any stage in the development process. The $10 million dollar Fund is evergreen, meaning that generated returns are put back into the Fund for contribution toward other investments and to grow the Fund itself.
Horizon Fund Competition supports student-led technology
While the UT Horizon Fund aims to improve commercialization of UT technologies and returns on previous investments, the Fund’s Student Investment Competition (SIC) strives to improve returns of our most valuable asset —our students. The SIC seeks promising technology-based enterprise opportunities led by students from all 15 UT System institutions. Only students who are attending a UT System institution or who have recently graduated from one are eligible to participate. The SIC integrates with and enhances existing investment competitions, such as Texas Venture Labs at UT Austin. The SIC is not a challenge for students with a new idea or plan for development or implementation of an idea. Rather, it’s a competition for proposals representing real opportunities for real UT System investment returns, but lacking the funding necessary for proposal enactment. The SIC top prize winner receives $50k in seed investment funding with additional co-investment opportunities available through the Horizon Fund’s New Ventures program.
SIC Finalists included UTSA, UTHSCSA, UTD and UT Austin
This past June, UT student Jordan Kaufmann’s startup Cardiovate was named the Student Investment Competition winner for 2012. A recent biomedical engineering Ph.D. graduate of the UTSA College of Engineering, Jordan is helping Cardiovate develop a new stent-graft that has been shown to prevent aneurysm leakage following cardiovascular surgery. Other finalists included Prinda Wanakule (UT Austin, biomedical engineering), Daniel Mendez (UTSA, mechanical engineering), and a team of students from UT Dallas and UT Austin: Alejandro Chapa (UTD), Johnathan Plappert (UT Austin) and Landon Elfenbein (UTD).
All Systems Go
Next generation network gives UT System institutions the edge
bring high-performance computer connectivity across all 15 UT institutions. The upgraded network will allow for transmission and reception of data of up to 10 gigabits per second. Additionally, the TACC now operates the Lonestar 4 super computing system and has made it available to all researchers within the UT System. “Lonestar is one of the most powerful supercomputing systems in the world dedicated to open science research and thus provides researchers at System institutions with a scientific— and competitive— advantage,” said TACC Director Jay Boisseau. “Our staff is supporting researchers with new projects in science, engineering, and biomedical research that will enable important new discoveries to be made here in Texas.” The three components are designed to work together and enhance one another, giving all System institutions access to a world-class computing system. The projects were funded by a $23 million allocation by the UT System Board of Regents.
In early 2012, the planned secure data and large volume repository of the UT System’s Research Cyberinfrastructure (UTRC) initiative came online, marking a major milestone in UTRC’s progress. The initiative is comprised of three components: a high bandwidth inter-institution network, access to top-of-the-line computing and visualization resources at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at UT Austin, and the recently completed secure data repository. The shared data storage housed at UT Arlington and UT Austin will give researchers from different locations access to a single data source. Chris Jordan, leader of the Data Management and Collections group at TACC and chair of the storage committee for the UTRC initiative, explains, “ five At petabytes of initial raw capacity, the data repository component of the UTRC will provide a highly scalable and reliable pool of storage to researchers at all System institutions, providing a high performance solution to address the data management challenges of 21st century research.” Part of Chancellor Francisco G. Cigarroa’s Framework for Advancing Excellence Action Plan, the UTRC will
UT Austin professor formulates tamper-proof oxycontin
UT Austin professor Dr. James W. McGinnity has developed a new oral formulation of oxycontin with time-delay binding agents to circumvent abuse by drug addicts. Marketed by Purdue Pharmaceuticals, the tamper-proof formulation is expected to generate more than $1 billion in revenue with UT Austin receiving significant royalties. In August 2011, UT Austin presented
Dr. James W. McGinnity
preliminary results to the UT System Board of Regents, Technology Transfer and Research Committee.
UT System awarded cancer prevention, research grants
Three UT System health institutions were awarded over $13 million in grants from the state to support cancer prevention and research. The awards amount to nearly half of the $29 million distributed annually by the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). UT Southwestern Medical Center received $5.6 million, UT Health Science Center at Houston received $4.7 million and UT Health Science Center at San Antonio received $2.7 million. The grants will fund six research projects aimed at prevention efforts for several different types of cancer, including breast, cervix and colon cancers. CPRIT has awarded grants to eleven UT System institutions since its inception in 2007.
in Texas Together
HELPING CLINICIANS DELIVER BETTER CARE.
TxMRC Brings the Best
Mehrdad Nourani, Ph.D., and principal investigator of the “Smart Bed” project
of Texas System’s academic institutions including engineering and computer technology from UT Arlington and UT Dallas” said Dale , Klein, Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at UT Austin. “TxMRC helps create and establish bedside to bench to bedside collaborations. Clinicians help identify problems that can be solved by engineers and scientists at UT who can then in turn work to deliver better products and services back to the clinical bedside,” said Patricia Hurn, Associate Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs at the UT System. Researchers that have received TxMRC funding have high praise for the benefits collaborations provide. Mehrdad Nourani, Ph.D., professor of electrical engineering at
UTD and principal investigator for the “Smart Bed” project affirms that collaboration allows clinicians to explain needs to be addressed. Engineers then offer solutions for implementation back to the real world. The “Smart Bed” will be able to detect early onset of a pressure ulcer and use technology to analyze, monitor and redistribute pressure. This proof-of-concept prototype will be a part of a larger collaborative project to be submitted to the National Science Foundation. Without the collaboration facilitated by TxMRC, brainstorming and identifying solutions involved in the development of the “Smart Bed” would be more difficult and less streamlined. Research and new funding sources for further development are currently underway.
The Texas Medical Research Collaborative (TxMRC), a research partnership between several Texas-based health and engineering institutions, has distributed funding for new research projects across the state. The projects, presented by engineers and medical researchers from North Texas, will receive assistance by faculty from The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Founded in 2009, TxMRC has given $1.2 million in grants. This year, they distributed $500,000. Partners include UT Arlington, UT Dallas, The University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth, Texas Instruments and Texas Health Research & Education Institute. “This effort brings top minds from the University
Past TxMRC Grant Recipients
Human-Robot Interaction System for Early Diagnosis and Treatment of Childhood Autism Spectrum Disorders (RoDiCA)
Dan Popa, UTA Nicoleta Burgnariu, UNTHSC
A Wireless Micro Gastro-Stimulator for Treatment of Severe Gastric Dysmotility
Jung-Chih Chiao, UTA Dereje Agonafer, UTA Hoi Lee, UTD Jin Liu, UTD Rajeev Jain, THPHD
Cerebrospinal Fluid Flow Measurement and Monitoring for Ventricular Shunts
Mehrdad Nourani, UTD Zeynep Celik-Butler, UTA Donald Butler, UTA Sabatino Bianco, THAMH
Non-Invasive Salivary Diagnostics of Diabetics Using Sensitive Nanoelectric Biosensor Strip
Walter Hu, UTD Paul Bowman, UNTHSC Nusrath Habiba, UNTHSC Kimberly Fulda, UNTHSC
Embedding Passive Wireless Shear/Pressure Sensors in Shoes for Diabetic Foot Diagnostics and Ulcer Prevention
Haiying Huang, UTA Bhaskar Banerjee, UTD Matthew Pompeo, THPHD Travis Motley, UNTHSC
tors to search data compiled from research, news, facilities and laboratories across the entire UT System.
and heightened efforts to improve and extend the reach of our technology transfer across the UT System. The search engine makes it easy for
overseeing developing technologies at their respective institutions. The new system streamlines the process of searching through the vast amount of UT System-produced research. And by making this information easily available to the public, it will help facilitate the transformation of research into commercially feasible opportunities and help the System to realize investment returns.
New search engine gives public easy access to patent information
Searching for research and patent assets at any UT System institution is about to get much easier. A new search engine will soon allow visi-
“The launch of this technology and research database with public search capabilities is the culmination of a vision the UT System has had for quite some time,” said Barry Burgdorf, UT System Vice Chancellor and General Counsel. “It serves two important goals of the Board of Regents – transparency
potential investors to find out everything they need to know about any patent or technology coming from the UT System.” Patent searches will also yield contact information for technology commercialization officers responsible for
It’s About Time
Cerevast’s new ultrasound stroke treatment device may be the key to making up for delayed treatment and the reason many patients will be able to fully recover.
Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. and a leading cause of serious, long-term adult disability. Reducing delays in treatment can save lives and limit disabilities.
personnel, paramedics and other health care professionals will be empowered to help people in critical need of stroke treatment.
About 87 percent of all strokes are ischemic. These strokes occur when the arteries that carry blood to the brain become blocked and cannot deliver sufficient oxygen and nutrients to the brain cells. A lack of oxygen can cause these cells to die, resulting in permanent brain damage and eventually death. Ischemic strokes are commonly caused by blood clots that interrupt blood flow in an area of the brain. People suffering from this type of stroke stand a better chance of avoiding long-term disability when given clot-busing intravenous thrombolysis within three hours of the first symptom. Unfortunately, due to patient and emergency staff delays, only a small fraction of ischemic stroke patients receive thrombolytic therapy when it matters most, leaving doctors in critical need of a faster, more precise and more reliable method of treatment. With its revolutionary Clotbust ER™ stroke treatment device, Cerevast Therapeutics—a University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston spin-out and one of the first companies to receive funding from the UT Horizon Fund—hopes to give patients suffering from ischemic stroke a fighting chance at a full recovery. With the introduction of the revolutionary Clotbust ER™, Cerevast is reducing barriers to critical stroke treatment. Designed for rapid deployment in the emergency room setting, the Clotbust ER™ uses non-invasive techniques to deliver therapeutic levels of ultrasound energy to “lyse” or disrupt blood clots and dissipate occluded vessels affected by ischemic stroke, when used in combination with intravenous thrombolytic therapy. Integrated software ensures delivery of consistent therapeutic levels of the ultrasound energy required to achieve acoustic streaming, i.e., transformation of ultrasound beam energy into energy of fluid motion, making Clotbust ER™ operator independent. With proprietary software managing the treatment process, Clotbust ER™ removes the need for—and potential delays associated with—securing the assistance of a trained sonographer or vascular technician in an already stressful emergency room setting. Because Clotbust ER™ requires the absolute minimum level of expertise for operation, emergency room
All information and pictures courtesy of 2011 Cerevast Executive Summary
Above: Cerevast’s new Clotbust ER system
“The Clotbust ER™ significantly reduces the technical challenges associated with the administration of transcranial ultrasound for the treatment of ischemic stroke,” said Bradford A. Zakes, CEO of Cerevast. “Unlike conventional Doppler instruments that are designed and approved for diagnostic purposes only, the Clotbust ER™ delivers therapeutic ultrasound energy to the region of the occlusion without the need to aim the transducer or hold it in place by hand for extended periods of time.” Recognized by the American Heart Association as one of the top three single most important contributions to the advancement of stroke treatment, the Clotbust ER™ clinical trial results support the use of ultrasound in reducing the harmful effects of stroke already in progress and in repairing some if not all of the damage done by the stroke. Cerevast has already received approval to commercialize Clotbust ER™ in Europe, and with the pending success of current trials, hopes to bring it to the United States and other areas of the world soon. “The operator-independent design of the Clotbust ER™ enables safe, fast and reliable amplification of systemic thrombolytic treatment in the emergency room setting,” said Andrei Alexandrov, MD, Professor of Neurology and Director, UAB Comprehensive Stroke Research Center. “I look forward to the benefit this product will bring to those patients that
suffer the debilitating effects of an ischemic stroke.”
Dr. Alexandrov, formerly with UTHSC-H at the time of the invention, is one of the inventors on the patents now licensed to Cerevast. To learn more about Cerevast and ™ Clotbust ER, visit cerevast.com
Above: Graph showing results of the CLOTBUST clinical trial. Marked improvements in both short-term as well as long-term treatments when the Clotbust ER was used in conjunction with traditionalZmethods. HORI ONS
New primer will lead to stronger roads and a cleaner environment
The University of Texas at Austin has patented technology behind Terra-Prime, a new environmentally friendly primer for the construction and maintanence of roads and pavements.
Terra-Prime Terra-Prime is a carbonaceous material stabilizer primer for the construction and maintaining of roads and pavements developed by Dr. Yetkin Yildirim, Director of Texas Pavement Preservation Center in the UT Austin Cockrell School of Engineering. Pursuit of an environmentally safe replacement to MC-30 gave rise to a new technology for road pavement primers known as Terra-Prime. Based on superior performance tests, environmental benefits and economic profile, Terra-Prime has the potential to replace MC-30, a primer used globally to stabilize roads and as an asphalt wearing surface.
The technology is licensed to TERRA PAVE International and has been proven to perform at the same level as MC-30 cutback asphalt in permeability and penetration, but above all, is more environmentally friendly than MC-30 and similar alternatives. While MC-30 coats have a curing time of 6-7 days, Terra-Prime can be cured in half of that time. Road coats prepared using Terra Prime have an 8-9 times increase in strength using penetrometer. Moreover, a current testing program, sponsored by UT Austin, revealed that modified formulations of Terra-Prime, namely Top Seal Black and Terra Fog, have the potential for other uses as well.
T H E TA R G E T:
There are 18.4 million miles of road construction worldwide, 4 million in the US and 0.7 million in Texas. The composition of soil found at these worksites varies greatly and often requires stabilization since changes in composition affect road performance greatly. The most widely used primer in the world today is MC-30, a flammable and toxic substance banned in many areas and one which requires extra infrastructure to safe-gaurd, distribute and apply. Considering the risks of existing products, a research project was performed at UT-Austin which resulted in the invention of Terra-Prime. Tests show it has the highest strength among all tested prime coat materials, both under dry and wet conditions, and surpassing, many times over, the threshold of MC-30. As the world moves towards green technologies, the invention of Terra-Prime may bring about a revolution in the use of prime coat layer. It’s an environmentally-friendly product with no VOC emissions, cures faster than MC-30 and works with existing application equpiment, avoiding any extra financial burden to the industry. Given these advantages, Terra Prime is well-positioned to replace MC-30 as the leading prime coat sealant in the world.
UTEP startup recreates ancient Mayan pigments
After some 15 years of rigorous research at UT El Paso (UTEP) laboratories and in Central America, Mayan Pigments, Inc., has unlocked the secret to creating organic, brilliant and enduring pigments like those still brightly visible in Mayan ruins. Mayan Pigments, Inc., a UTEP startup, has been working closely with a West Coast producer of all natural, non-toxic and environmentally friendly arts and crafts products. Red, blue and yellow pigments are being supplied by Mayan and are key colorants in the company’s paints and crayons. Inspired by Mayan frescoes, the U.S.-manufactured pigments are free of heavy metals and created using an eco-friendly process that produces only water as the by-product.
from umbilical cord blood on a global scale. Stem cells are the cornerstone of regenerative medicine, which seeks to restore tissues deteriorated by age, disease or injury. Dr. Chen’s work focuses on the isolation, expansion and use of native, pluripotent mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) isolated from umbilical cord blood. Thanks to their pluripotency— the ability to differentiate into multiple types of body cells and tissues — these MSCs have the potential for broad clinical applications. While dubbed “ embryonic-like” MSCs, they are not from embryos. “It has been widely assumed that very small numbers of MSCs exist in umbilical cord blood, but StemBioSys’ novel extracellular matrix (ECM) can isolate and expand these in far greater numbers,” Dr. Davis said.
StemBioSys is advancing ongoing research and bringing the world closer to realizing the stem cell therapy promise.
Chevron, UT Austin, addressing the demand for oil
Terapio tech combats radiation exposure
Founded in 2005 based on intellectual property developed at UT Arlington by Dr. Sanjay Awasth, Terapio Corporation is developing a pipeline of therapeutic applications based on the unique properties of RLIP76, a transport protein that moves large molecules across cell membranes. The first application of Terapio’s technology is as a radiation countermeasure, which studies have shown to significantly increase the overall survival rate after exposure to lethal doses of radiation. A second application is for a promising drug delivery platform. Noting the potential of these
The University of Texas at Austin and the Chevron Energy Technology Company (a subsidiary of Chevron Corporation) signed a licensing agreement bringing together two world-class organizations to address the growing demand for oil. With more countries industrializing and relying on oil to run their economies, mature oil fields are nearing the end of their primary cycles and previously discarded methods for enhanced oil recovery methods are being re-evaluated. To address this emerging issue, Dr. Gary A. Pope, a researcher and the director of the Center for Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering at UT Austin has developed a new type of surfactants to enable oil to be obtained from areas with too high of a water content to be recovered using traditional methods. Enhanced oil recovery provides an opportunity to produce more oil from existing and sometimes nearly depleted oil fields throughout the world. Find more information at www.engr.utexas.edu.
One challenge with expanding the stem cells is that they lose their capacity to become different types of cells. StemBioSys solves this problem too. “Our lab has developed a system to rapidly expand [MSCs] and slow down the loss of their stem cell properties,” said Dr. Chen. The StemBioSys’ system is based on four pending patents, all of which are licensed. The first is for the ECM, the second is for a method of isolating stem cells from umbilical cord blood and the remaining two are focused on the use of the cells themselves. With its novel technologies,
and other applications, Santé Ventures has provided Terapio $5 million in equity financing. Terapio previously received $3.2 million from the Texas Emerging Technology Fund, the National Institutes of Health and angel investors. “We have been following this company’s scientific progress since inception,” said Santé Ventures Managing Director, Kevin Lalande. “While keenly aware of the challenging fundraising environment for early-stage biopharmaceutical companies, we nevertheless found in Terapio a compelling combination of platform technology with applications in multiple large target markets.”
Tapping the potential of embryo-free stem cells
StemBioSys, a biomedical company led by Steven A. Davis, M.D., chief executive officer, and Xiao-Dong Chen, M.D., Ph.D., chief scientific officer and an associate professor in the Dental School at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, has entered into a licensing agreement with South Texas Technology Management to commercialize a new system to isolate and expand stem cells
UT Southwestern Medical Center startup AIMs for success
Chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Alzheimer’s, cancer — the more intractable the disease the greater the need for breakthrough medicines. Translating innovative science into such medicine is what UT Southwestern startup Reata Pharmaceuticals is on a mission to do. Founded in 2002, Reata is developing a portfolio of oral drugs that mimic the body’s natural mechanisms for regulating inflammation. These new drugs, called antioxidant inflammation modulators (AIMs), target the Nrf2 protein that protects against inflammation and oxidative stress. By activating Nrf2, AIMs help promote the production of a wide range of antioxidant, detoxification and anti-inflammatory genes, helping the body to more aggressively defend itself from a host of difficult to treat chronic inflammatory diseases. Reata’s most advanced AIM has proven extremely effective in combating chronic kidney disease, a condition that affects over 26 million Americans. Now in a pivotal Phase III trial, the hope is that the drug can be developed into a therapeutic agent that can reverse the effects of diabetic kidney disease. Since incorporation, Reata has raised $215 million in private financing, the majority of which has come from investors in Texas. In 2010, it secured business development funding worth over $1 billion, comprised in part of funds from a co-development deal with Abbott Laboratories, which ranks as the largest agreement of
Above: Reata’s bardoxolone methyl AIM is in final stages of testing while various other AIM’s are still in pre-clinical trials. Image courtesy of Reata.
UT Austin battery tech positive for economy and environment
UT Austin is partnering with Hydro-Quebec, Canada’s largest electricity generator and the world’s largest hydroelectricity generator, to commercialize new lithium-ion rechargeable batteries developed by Dr. John B. Goodenough, Professor and Virginia H. Cockrell Centennial Chair in Engineering. Recipient of the 2009 Enrico Fermi Award and 2001 Japan Prize, Goodenough’s research led to lighter, longer-lasting batteries. In addition to being inexpensive and capable of thousands of charge cycles without capacity loss, Goodenough’s technology provides a safe and environmentally friendly solution for transportation and storage applications, and is expected to have an enormous impact on the U.S. economy. The partnership includes downstream royalties and represents the UT Austin’s largest ever up front payment.
UTMB grants worldwide license for cannula technology
The UT Medical Branch-Galveston granted a worldwide exclusive license to Avalon Laboratories for a novel double lumen extracorporeal life support (ECLS) cannula (i.e., medical tube) developed by Joseph Zwischenberger, M.D. and Dongfang Wang, M.D. The new ECLS cannula can be placed into a vessel without surgical incision. It also provides total respiratory support for ICU patients when coupled with an external pump and oxygenator.
its kind in the history of the industry. A second agreement with Abbott was announced in 2011. Reata is a prime example how a University of Texas System institution can transform discovery into major biotech advancement, and ultimately help people suffering from debilitating disease. More information can be found at www.utsouthwestern.edu and www.reatapharma.com.
- Daniel Oh
GenOsteo—UTSA’s first faculty startup, first company to receive an IP license and first New Venture incubator company —joined with Austin-based SpineSmith Partners to bring new synthetic scaffold technology to market. The UTSA-developed scaffold uses adult stem cells (ASCs) to produce highly effective bone graft material for use in spinal fusion operations and to restore bone loss due to trauma or disease. New group brings commercialization expertise to the UT System
The newly formed Chancellor’s Technology Commercialization Advisory Cabinet is dedicated to transforming research and
“Our scaffold offers surgeons a new and better way to deliver ASCs to promote bone formation,” said Daniel Oh, President and CSO of GenOsteo and a member of the development team. “Delivering the right type of cells on the right scaffold will improve clinical results in orthopedic bone grafting procedures.” What was formerly a teaching university is slowly becoming a source of cutting edge biomedical technologies.
“This is the first example of UTSA bringing together the right environment of faculty research, university policy, IP management and collaboration with the business community to launch faculty-initiated technology ventures from the university,” said Cory Hallam, Director of the UTSA Center for Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship. “[It’s] truly an example of UTSA’s continued climb toward being a Tier One research university.”
THE CHANCELLOR’S TECHNOLOGY COMMERCIALIZATION ADVISORY CABINET
David G. Booth
Chairman, Co-CEO Dimensional Fund Advisors
Thomas J. Meredith
Co-founder, General Partner Meritage Capital, LP
Charles W. Tate
Chairman, Founding Partner Capital Royalty
discoveries into technologies that will fulfill the University of Texas System mission while benefitting society. “The [Cabinet] is extremely important because it allows UT System leadership to receive constructive input from the private sector and learn first hand from both successes and failures in the commercialization arena,” said UT System Chancellor Francisco Cigarroa. “The Cabinet will be pivotal in enhancing [our] effectiveness in translating discoveries and inventions from our faculty to the benefit of humanity.”
Clint W. Bybee
Co-founder, Managing Director ARCH Venture Partners
James J. Mulva
Chairman, CEO ConocoPhillips
Ralph B. Thomas
Senior VP Portfolio Manager , Fayez Sarofim & Co.
Ernest H. Cockrell
President, Director The Cockrell Foundation
Co-founding Principal The Catalyst Group, Inc.
John D. Thornton
General Partner Austin Ventures
Jonathan J. Fleming
Managing General Partner Oxford Bioscience Partners
Robert B. Rowling
Owner, Chairman TRT Holdings, Inc.
Rex W. Tillerson
Chairman, CEO ExxonMobil
Dr. Joseph C. Salamone
Co-founder Polymer Technology Corporation
BONE SCAFFOLD TECHNOLOGY PUTS UTSA CLOSER TO TIER 1
“When the technology reaches the market, we expect it to become the product of choice for orthopedic and neurosurgeons who recognize the need for better bone graft materials.”
Decades of research at UTHSCT yields potential treatment for lung disease
The Center for Biomedical Research at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler is developing SalvapaseTM —a treatment for plueral disease in the lungs commonly caused by pneumonia, cancer and tuberculosis—to replace expensive and invasive existing treatments.
SalvapaseTM scuPA, also known as SalvapaseTM, is a new therapeutic approach to treating loculation and scar formation in the lung pleural space. A new, non-surgical technology, scuPA’s advantages include resistance to inhibition/inactivation, a high degree of dosing latitude and bioavailability in 24 hrs (normally an impediment for a successful druggable compound). Clinical trials, expected in the next 2-3 years, will study To date, the project is funded by the Fisch Foundation, the Riter Foundation, the Genecov Foundation and previously the UT System Texas Ignition Fund (TIF). whether or not scuPA may decrease morbidity and shorten time spent in the hospital. scuPA technology also represents the first ever funded project by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute through the SMARTT program (Science Moving towArds Research Translation and Therapy), supporting the transition of potential new therapies for heart, lung, and blood diseases from the lab to the testing needed to establish their safety and effectiveness in people.
T H E TA R G E T:
Pleural disease and infection affects 80,000 people in the US and UK annually. The disease encompasses many different conditions including the scarring of tissue, the accumulation of fluid in membranes and the escape of air from the lungs into the chest cavity. Although pleural disease does not actually, at first, infect the lungs themselves, it does damage the lining of the lungs, called pleura, and impair lung function. Patients suffering from ventricular failure, cirrhosis, bacterial pneumonia, cancer and tuberculosis— just some of the leading causes of pleural infection—are expected to benefit greatly by the advances made by UTHSCT and scuPA technology by attempting to deliver a therapeutic (druggable) intervention to replace a costly and harmful surgical treatment.
UTSA grad student develops TECHNOLOGY Showcase
A new stent-graft named TESAR has been shown to prevent aneurysm leakage following cardiovascular surgery and has the potential to prevent tens of thousands of aortic aneurysm ruptures, ultimately reducing health care costs and complications for patients.
TESAR (Cardiovate) Tissue Engineering Scaffold for Aneurysm Repair (TESAR) creates a tissue barrier between the blood and the aneurysm after it is implanted. The scaffold promotes healthy tissue formation to repave the aneurysm wall. Once the scaffold is in place, the aneurysm stops expanding and the risk of rupture decreases. After new tissue is in place, the scaffold degrades and is safely reabsorbed by the body. The technology has been shown in the laboratory to reduce post-operative complications during aneurysm repair surgery such as the need for additional corrective surgeries following the initial procedure. Developed jointly between UTHSCSA and UTSA, graduate student Jordan Kaufmann, working with Dr. Mauli Agrawal (Dean of Engineering at UTSA) and Steven Bailey (division chief for cardiology at UTHSCSA), designed the unique stent-graft as part of her doctoral research in biomedical engineering. The stent represents the only one of its kind in the $507 million cardiovascular stent-graft market. Also, the natural tissue is a better match for biological healing than the materials found in traditional stent-grafts.
T H E TA R G E T:
About 1.2 million people in the U.S. suffer from an abdominal aortic aneurysm. Aneurysm rupture is the nation’s 13th leading cause of death with surgeons performing about 65,000 abdominal aortic aneurysm repairs annually. However, one out of every six patients experiences stent-graft leakage from traditional stent-grafts in the month following surgery and additionally, 20 to 30 percent of patients require corrective surgery as much as six to eight years later. An abdominal aortic aneurysm is when the large blood vessel that supplies blood to the abdomen, pelvis, and legs becomes abnormally large or balloons outward. The exact cause is unknown, but risk factors for developing an aortic aneurysm include: Smoking, High blood pressure, High cholesterol, Male gender, Emphysema, Genetic factors, Obesity. An abdominal aortic aneurysm can develop in anyone, but is most often seen in males over 60 who have one or more risk factors. The larger the aneurysm, the more likely it is to rupture and break open.
One , Committee
From evergreen funding to enhanced intelligence, the newly formed Technology Transfer and Research Committee is set on putting the UT System at the top of the nation for research commercialization and ROI.
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STARTUPS LICENSES TOTAL RESEARCH FUNDING ISSUED PATENTS
an exemplary and transformative education experience, the University of Texas System is preparing the next generation of innovators, problem solvers, educators and leaders. It’s what the University of Texas (UT) System is known for and why we’re one of the top university systems in the country. Less obvious but imperative to our high-level of success are the behind-the-scenes resources afforded by UT System business activities. In a struggling economy where state funding is less and less reliable, ensuring the greatest return on our most valuable assets—the innovations of our staff and students–is more important than ever.
Enter the Technology Transfer and Research (TTR) Committee. Established in 2011, the TTR Committee is dedicated to the effective management of UT System resources and commercialization of its world-class research and technologies. In addition to ensuring the UT System with greater financial returns, the Committee is helping the UT System to improve Texas communities, industries and economies as well as those of the entire world. James Dannenbaum, Chairman of the committee, said “the TTR committee has its sights set on improving commercialization at the UT System and its member institutions.”
FROM OB STACLES TO OPPORTUNITIES
In 2011, the Association of University Technology Managers ranked US universities in several different categories. At right is how the UT System fared.
Before engaging in new efforts, the UT System needed to identify roadblocks standing in the way. The Changing Landscape of Technology Commercialization Symposium, dedicated to the sharing of ideas, insights and best practices that drive success in the commercialization of intellectual property, provided the perfect opportunity. Upon closer examination, two key issues rose to the top:
Focus on sustainable commercialization
By focusing on sustainability, the UT System can more effectively commercialize technologies without relying on short-term, one-time successes.
Lack of early stage capital, limited awareness
By connecting better with investors and entrepreneurs, the UT System had a greater chance of getting startups off the ground.
While the UT System was brimming with talent and innovation, it wasn’t fully protecting its assets nor pursuing opportunities. By refining and reinvesting into the commercialization processes, the UT System can position itself for improved returns on patents, licensing and startups.
“The TTR committee has its sights set on improving commercialization at the UT System and its member institutions.”
STRIDES TOWARD GREATER RETURNS
Comm i t t e e
James D. Dannenbaum
A UT Austin alumnus with a degree in civil engineering, Regent Dannenbaum was named “Engineer of the Year for 2004” by the Greater Houston Chapter of Texas Society of Professional Engineers, and “2004 TSPE Outstanding Engineer of the Year for the State of Texas” by the Texas Society of Professional Engineers. Regent Dannenbaum is active in various UT organizations including the Chancellor’s Council, the President’s Associates, the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center Board of Visitors, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Development Board, and the Medical School Advisory Committee. Mr. Dannenbaum has also served as a member of the board of the Society for the Performing Arts, the Sam Houston Council Boy Scouts of America, and the March of Dimes.
• Horizon Fund • Research and Technology search engine • Increased technology commercialization intelligence and education
To fulfill its mission, the TTR Committee approved several different initiatives laid out by the Office of - James Dannenbaum Chairman, TTR Committee Technology Commercialization (OTC) including the Horizon Fund, a new Research and Technology search engine, and increased intelligence and education around UT System’s technology commercialization. The Horizon Fund* — a strategic evergreen fund used to invest in ideas and scientific breakthroughs developed at UT institutions — is up and running and has already started investing in UT startups. “The University of Texas secures very valuable investment rights from the success of its enormous capacity for innovation and invention,” said Regent Alex Cranberg. “Until now, our otherwise highly capable System has had little ability to take advantage of these potentially lucrative opportunities.” The hope is that the Fund’s Existing Ventures Program will bring the UT System’s license income up to par with the nation’s other leading universities. Likewise, the Research and Technology search engine, which debuted in March 2012, allows the public and potential investors to get a better look at what the UT System has to offer in terms of assets and investment opportunities. “I’m excited about the potential of the Research and Technology search engine to connect scientists and funders working on related problems in cross disciplinary ways,” said Cranberg. “Better information infrastructure such as this will help taxpayers and students who fund much UT research to better understand the value of their important investment.” Additionally, the UT System has taken steps to fulfill its objectives of gaining intelligence and education. Hard at work since the 2011 Symposium, TTR Committee initiatives are starting to yield results, signaling a new era of discovery and promise of future success.
*For more information on the UT Horizon Fund, visit
R. Steven Hicks
A veteran of the radio industry, Regent Hicks founded and served as chief executive officer of Capstar Broadcasting Corporation. In 1996, he was honored as an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year and was recognized as Broadcaster of the Year by the Texas Association of Broadcasters. Mr. Hicks serves on numerous charitable and professional boards including Harden Healthcare, DMX, Andrew Harper, CPO Commerce, Healthtronics, Inc., and Austin Recovery.
Alex M. Cranberg
Mr. Cranberg is Chairman of Aspect Holdings, LLC., which has drilled over 500 exploration wells and made many oil and gas discoveries in Texas and Louisiana, Belize, Hungary, and Kurdistan. Aspect has also founded numerous venture technology-driven oil field service companies. Mr. Cranberg has been active in education philanthropy; he founded the Alliance for Choice in Education, which has provided tens of millions of dollars in scholarship support for children from low-income families to attend private schools.
Ms. Pejovich is CEO of BFG Management Company LLC and Brenda Pejovich Group LLC, a North Texas based operations consulting and executive search firm. Her public service record includes gubernatorial appointments to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, the Texas Building & Procurement Commission, and Texas Mutual Insurance Company. Ms. Pejovich is cofounder of the Professor Svetozar Pejovich Future Leaders Award and a prime sponsor of the World War II Memorial located on the capitol grounds in Austin, Texas.
Printice L. Gary
Mr. Gary founded Carleton Residential Properties in 1991 and serves as its Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner. He has served on the Boards of the Dallas Citizens Council, the North Texas Tollway Authority, Pro-line Corporation and the Texas Tax Reform Commission. He currently serves on the board of the Southwestern Medical Foundation and the National Equity Fund in Chicago, Illinois. He earned his HORI Master’s of Business degree from Harvard University. Z O N S
The UT System on
Engaging our community
Keeping the UT System community and followers around the world current on the exciting developments and research coming out of the UT System is easy, thanks to Twitter. In 140 characters or less, all 15 UT System institutions are using the Twittersphere to communicate everything from clinical trial progression and new venture funding to academic recognition and events.
O N T WI T T E R :
UT EL PASO
ON TW ITTER :
UTA advances to the “Environmental Eight” in national environmental tournament. The tournament evaluates schools’ environmental studies programs
UTEP’s School of Nursing has double the national average of male nursing students with 22% of its nursing students being male, 370 in total
O N T WI T T E R :
UT PAN AMERICAN
ON TW ITTER :
Thomas Smith, visual effects producer for Star Wars, Star Trek,and Indiana Jones movies has donated his archives to the Harry Ransom Center
UTPA sees 4th and 5th graders from schools in both Texas and Mexico meet on campus for the Festival of International Books and Arts
O N T WI T T E R :
UT PERMIAN BASIN
ON TW ITTER :
It will be up to UT Brownsville students to choose a new mascot after UTB ends its two decade long partnership with Texas Southmost College
UTPB hosts the 2012 West Texas Guitar Festival which featured world class talent as well as a guitar competition for high school students
O N T WI T T E R :
UT SAN ANTONIO
ON TW ITTER :
A recent $3 million gift from Texas Instruments brings UT Dallas to over $110 million of its $200 million goal for being a Tier 1 university
UTSA becomes only the second university in the nation to train PhD level psychologists who will specialize in military health care
UT MEDICAL BRANCH–GALVESTON
O N T WI T T E R :
ON TW ITTER :
After Hurricane Ike, UTMB Galveston completes its $36 million mondernization project to update John Sealy Hospital
Ranks in the top 10 in Texas for graduating its students in 4 years (at a rate of 24.8%) while offering the lowest tuition of the 10
UT HEALTH SCIENCE CENTER–HOUSTON
O N T WI T T E R :
UT HEALTH SCIENCE CENTER–SAN ANTONIO
ON TW ITTER :
Doctors at UT Health discover that listening to Mozart while performing colonoscopies raised the detection rate of adenomas from 30% to 67%
Researchers find that seratonin, the chemical that produces pleasure, is absorbed too efficiently to be transmitted by children with autism
UT MD ANDERSON
O N T WI T T E R :
ON TW ITTER :
A $1 million donation from AT&T helps MDA’s telesurgery venture that aims to provide specialized care to underserved communities in Texas
UTSW was named the #1 medical school in Texas by U.S. News. It ranks 21st and 20th in the nation for primary care and research respectively
UT HEALTH SCIENCE CENTER AT TYLER
ON TW ITTER :
A cardiologist at UTHSCT claims that losing an hour due to daylight savings can lead to an increased risk for health-related issues
Office of Technology Commercialization
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