2018 Technology Transfer By The Numbers
- 84 Invention disclosures
- 43 New patent applications filed
- 21 Patents issued
- 11 License and option agreements executed
- 2 Start-ups formed
- $706,843 Total revenue
Ernest Pharmaceuticals Delivers Molecules to Kill Cancer
The bacteria salmonella, notorious for causing food poisoning, has an uncanny property: it prefers to infect cancer tumors. Ernest Pharmaceuticals LLC, founded by Professor Neil Forbes and postdoctoral fellow Nele Van Dessel, is using a nontoxic genetic mutation of salmonella to deliver anti-cancer molecules into cancer cells to kill them. Because salmonella doesn’t naturally enter cells in a way that the anti-cancer molecules are released, Forbes and Van Dessel had to invent a way to alter salmonella genes so that the bacteria not only gets into the cells but, once inside, bursts to deliver its anti-cancer cargo. Ernest plans to use this invention to develop a highly potent anti-cancer therapy.
SCT Technologies Improves Artificial Insemination Success
UMass Amherst professors Pablo Visconti and Anna Maria Salicioni, experts in fertility and sperm biology, have made the surprising discovery that ordinary sperm, if placed for a time in a special culture liquid, stop swimming. However, when later placed in an ordinary culture liquid they become hyper-motile, swimming like crazy. Further research has shown that sperm treated in this way are far more likely to fertilize an egg and produce offspring, in some cases improving the success of artificial insemination by 30 percent or more. Visconti and Salicioni have formed SCT Technologies LLC to develop methods and products to improve the artificial insemination of mice, cows, horses, and humans.