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9 August 2018

Arizona produces 16 spinouts in 2017-2018

Building on last year's records, Tech Launch Arizona has added another 16 spinouts to its portfolio in the fifth financial year since the office was formed.

Author: Callum Cyrus, reporter

Tech Launch Arizona (TLA), the tech transfer office of University of Arizona, generated 16 spinouts during the fiscal year ended June 2018, up from 15 companies during the preceding year.

In the fifth set of published results since its founding, TLA registered 275 invention disclosures during 2018, up from 261 last year. The number of filed US patents climbed from 334 to 352 year-on-year, with executed licences and options rising from 105 to 112.

The reporting period marks substantial progress for Arizona tech transfer activity since TLA’s launch. In 2012-2013, TLA and its predecessor managed just three spinouts, 48 licenses or options and 144 inventions disclosures.

TLA said the figures verify its success in commercialising university research and intellectual property (IP) to help translate Arizona innovations for economic and social gain.

The TTO provides an overarching strategic direction to Arizona’s innovation ecosystem of faculty, researchers, alumni and community experts. TLA aims for Arizona to move into the top-tier of public institutions for technology commercialisation.

Robert Robbins, president of University of Arizona, said: “In 2018, TLA continued its strong record of commercializing vital new inventions. And it is an important reason why University of Arizona is well on our way to realising our vision of becoming a leading university in the fourth industrial revolution.”

The 16 companies starting out during the 2018 fiscal year were named as:

  • Reglagene, which has licensed a drug candidate from TLA to thwart gene processes responsible for deteriorating DNA sequences during diseases such as cancer;
  • Omniscient, spun out with an undisclosed sum from TLA to fund a dual-view endoscope better capable of catching pre-cancerous growths known as polyps;
  • Regulonix, which raised $2m in a seed round in July 2018 to develop non-opioid drugs for chronic pain;
  • GUIA, a developer of an occupational health monitoring system, first devised at the College of Engineering and Lowell Institute for Mineral Resources, that raised undisclosed sum in January 2018;
  • D3Sciences, an oncological services spinout looking to introduce a more efficient needle instrument for use during biopsies;
  • Iluminos Therapeutics, a spinout founded to tackle neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s with small molecular-based therapies;
  • MCR Therapeutics, which secured an undisclosed sum from TLA in May 2018 to help commercialise therapeutic peptides for skin cancer invented at Arizona centres including the department of chemistry and biochemistry;
  • Urbix Resources, a materials technology developer which will commercialise inventions including a low-temperature graphite purification technique;
  • Botanisol Analytics, which hopes to market a molecular detection instrument for purposes including forensics, pharmaceuticals, clinical diagnostics, agriculture and manufacturing;
  • Aqualung Therapeutics, the developer of a therapeutic antibody for remedying ventilator-induced lung injuries;
  • Triangle Biosciences, which has licensed a nanodroplet system invented at the College of Medicine – Tucson, with applications in medical imaging, diagnostics and therapy;
  • Discern Science International, the developers of an automated interviewing and deception technology for security purposes invented at the Eller College of Management;
  • Intuitive Measurement Systems, which is delivering a respiratory research device, invented in the department of chemistry and biochemistry, which standardises data collection from sedated laboratory animals;
  • NorCon Technologies, which will market techniques and elements for flexible curved reflectors invented at the College of Optical Sciences; and
  • GenetiRate, the developers of an assay application that predicts the growth of aquatic plants and animals by measuring the metabolic rate, building on technology invented at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

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