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SMHS Researchers Commercialize their Research Tool

Roxanne Vaughan, PhD, and James Foster, PhD, in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, created a monoclonal antibody against the dopamine transporter for their own research use back in 2004.  They have produced a number of publications based on research using the antibody, which has earned an excellent reputation as a research tool in the field of neuroscience, especially for studying neurodegenerative diseases and behavioral disorders. This excellent reputation led to frequent requests for the antibody from their colleagues in the field, and Vaughan and Foster approached the Office of Intellectual Property Commercialization (IPCED) for a more effective and economical dissemination strategy. 

Exactly one month after the researchers submitted the Invention Disclosure Form to IPCED for the hybridoma cells that produce the antibody, the first Non-Exclusive Licensing Agreement with one of the major antibody companies was signed. The antibody developers are scheduled to receive a royalty from future sales of the antibody by the company.  Licenses for biological reagents, such as monoclonal antibodies, are typically nonexclusive, and as such, UND has the opportunity to license the cells to other organizations.  In addition to the initial nonexclusive license, two more companies have licensed the hybridoma, and two additional companies have indicated their interest as well.

 “We appreciate the efforts of Dr. Combs and other staff in the Office of Intellectual Property Commercialization and Economic Development in these activities,” said Vaughan.  “They guided us step by step through the process, clarified all actions, and kept us informed at every stage.  We are now hoping to license additional dopamine transporter antibodies in the future.”

Many biotechnology companies are seeking various research tools such as antibodies, cell lines, reagents, and animal models.  If your laboratory has created any of these research tools with high demands from other investigators, please contact Kumi Nagamoto-Combs to discuss your commercialization options at (701) 777-2559 or kumi.combs@med.und.edu.