Cincinnati Children's Records Record Year In Technology Licensing

Thursday, October 20, 2005

CINCINNATI- Technology licensing at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center has reached its highest point in the institution's history. In the fiscal year ended June 30, 2005, the Intellectual Property and Venture Development Office at Cincinnati Children's completed 21 new licensing and option deals, compared with 17 the previous year.

"We're pleased with the progress we are making in moving technology from the research bench to the bedside," says Thomas F. Boat, MD, chairman of pediatrics and director of the Cincinnati Children's Research Foundation. "This clearly indicates that Cincinnati Children's has a maturing technology licensing program."

Licensing income for the fiscal year was $1.96 million, compared to $1.78 million for the previous year and $1.35 million for fiscal year 2003. This was the fifth consecutive year that licensing revenues exceeded $1 million. In the last five years, the Cincinnati Children's technology licensing program has brought in a total of $8.44 million in revenue, a rate of return expected to grow in the coming years, according to Joseph D. Fondacaro, PhD, director of Intellectual Property and Venture Development.

"On average, it takes from six to eight years for a new therapy to begin generating meaningful revenue, so it's important for us to continue to grow our pipeline of active agreements," says Dr. Fondacaro. "As we continue to license more technology, we increase the likelihood of our research efforts benefiting the public in years to come."

The number of active licenses now totals 39 and represents a significant commercial pipeline for Cincinnati Children's technologies. Among the new agreements signed during the year was an exclusive license with Procter and Gamble Pharmaceuticals for a new therapeutic target for the treatment of heart failure. Other major exclusive licenses signed during the year include agreements with:

  • Girindus AG. Cincinnati Children's and Girindus AG, a company based in Germany with an office in Cincinnati, signed a licensing agreement through which Girindus acquired more than 30 patents of Cincinnati Children's related to skin lightening and dispigmentation. The technology, originally developed within the Procter & Gamble Co., may reduce the dispigmentation that occurs as the result of burns, skin grafting procedures, wounds, acne, chronic inflammation, side effects of drugs, and scarring that occurs during surgery and from accidents.
  • Biosite Inc. Cincinnati Children's signed an exclusive licensing agreement with Biosite for NGAL, a biomarker that may help physicians accurately diagnose acute renal failure within hours rather than days. Acute renal failure affects 5 percent of all hospitalized patients and up to half of those in intensive care units.
  • Siemens Medical Solutions. Siemens purchased the order sets, clinical pathways, care plans, and dose checking rules and references that are part of the computerized physician order entry system that enabled Cincinnati Children's to earn the 2003 Nicholas E. Davies Award from the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society.
  • SpineForm LLC. A Cincinnati-based startup company, SpineForm is developing a "spine staple" discovered at Cincinnati Children's that could eliminate the need for thousands of invasive spine surgeries in children each year. The spine staple is intended to correct scoliosis, a curvature of the spine. The spine staple would be implanted in a minimally invasive procedure in children who are at high risk of needing surgery in adolescence. The staple would slow progression of the curvature or actually decrease the curvature as the child grows.

Also during the fiscal year, a significant technology was launched into the marketplace. GlaxoSmithKline introduced Rotarix", a rotavirus vaccine discovered by researchers now at Cincinnati Children's. It is anticipated that this vaccine, which is currently being used in Mexico and Brazil, will save millions of lives in the pediatric population worldwide each year.

Cincinnati Children's received 55 invention disclosures from its researchers during the year, an increase of 78 percent compared to the previous year and the highest number of disclosures ever received in a single year. Dr. Fondacaro attributes this increase to a more active involvement of faculty researchers with his office and "a genuine interest by faculty in seeing their research benefit the public in terms of new medical therapies, devices and diagnostics." Cincinnati Children's was awarded nine new U.S. patents in fiscal year 2005.

Venture development activities were provided a major boost with the awarding of an Ohio Third Frontier Validation Award of $500,000 to Cincinnati Children's. With the help of matching funds from Cincinnati Children's, the TOMORROW Fund was established to provide investments in start up companies based on technologies discovered at Cincinnati Children's, according to Keith W. Johnson, licensing associate and administrator of the fund.

"The TOMORROW Fund will strengthen our efforts to promote regional economic growth in the life sciences in the Cincinnati area," says James M. Anderson, president and CEO of Cincinnati Children's. "The more technologies we discover that make their way into the marketplace, the greater the opportunity for us to improve child health in the Cincinnati area and throughout the world."

Cincinnati Children's is a 423-bed institution devoted to bringing the world the joy of healthier kids. Cincinnati Children's is dedicated to transforming the way health care is delivered by providing care that is timely, efficient, effective, family-centered, equitable and safe. It ranks third nationally among all pediatric centers in research grants from the National Institutes of Health. The Cincinnati Children's vision is to be the leader in improving child health.

Contact Information

Jim Feuer, jim.feuer@cchmc.org, 513-636-4656