Technology-transfer revenue 10 times what it was two years ago

July 03, 2001

Pioneering research in both biotechnology and imaging enabled the University of Rochester to double the amount of revenue its basic research earned this year. The advance, to $29.5 million for the fiscal year that ends June 30, 2001, is more than double the $13.5 million that companies paid last year and 10 times the $2.9 million in royalties from the previous year.

The dramatic growth comes at a time of increased emphasis on commercialization of the University's intellectual property. In the last two years, the University has spun off four new companies, including RTek Medical Systems LLC, which is commercializing a new prostate cancer treatment system; Socratech LLC, which is looking at new ways to treat Alzheimer's disease; Vaccinex, which is developing cancer vaccines; and VirtualScopics LLC, which is developing new ways to mine important data from CT and MRI imaging systems.

The newcomers join an array of established University spin-offs that include Rochester Photonics (now a subsidiary of Corning Inc.), a company that develops opto-electronic components and systems, and Praxis Biologics, founded to develop vaccine technology. (Praxis is now known as Wyeth Lederle Vaccines, a unit of American Home Products, which announced plans last week to move the unit out of Rochester.) In all, more than two dozen high-tech companies have risen from the University is basic research in the past two decades.

"There is a marked increase in companies calling us about our technologies, as well as interest from venture capital firms," says Mark Coburn, associate provost and director of technology transfer. "Rochester is really getting on the map for technology transfer. Success breeds success."

Major technologies under license include:

Income from such licenses is divided between the University and the inventors, with much of the funding plowed back into research and education.

University of Rochester Medical Center

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