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Translational Research

MNIMBS Technology Translation and Commercialization

Link to Life Science Commercialization Seminar Series below

Institute Vision

The Michigan Nanotechnology Institute for Medicine and Biological Sciences is committed to conducting nanotechnology-based research that leads to innovations in Medicine and the Life Sciences.  Realization of this commitment is exemplified by the start-up companies NanoBio Corp., Avidimer Corp., and Photon Affinity, LLC, which have been launched from the Institute, as well as the six clinical studies that have been conducted using technology that was originally developed at MNIMBS.  While Avidimer Corp. did not survive the economic down-turn of 2008, NanoBio Corp. now employs 25 people and has signed an exclusive licensing agreement with GlaxoSmithKline plc for the over-the-counter sale of a topical treatment for cold sores.  Photon Affinity, LLC is in the early product development phase and has received interest from venture capital investment firms.

A critical step in delivering technology-based solutions to the clinic is technology translation and commercialization.  This includes the identification of unmet needs through primary market research, need-based development, intellectual property management, feasibility analysis, company formation, and licensing.  To increase the Institute’s capabilities in this area, the position of Entrepreneur in Residence was introduced in July, 2011.  The Entrepreneur in Residence manages the Institute’s commercialization projects and works closely with the Office of Technology Transfer and the Institute’s Business Advisory Group.  With five active commercialization projects, the Institute expects to continue to build upon its previous successes and continue to advance the state of Life Science Research and Medicine.

Entrepreneur in Residence Overview

The mission of the Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) is to accelerate the commercialization of technology developed by MNIMBS. The EIR evaluates MNIMBS technology platforms for commercial potential and works to identify commercialization strategies for selected technologies. As part of this process, the EIR manages the Institute’s Intellectual Property Portfolios, initiating new IP protection as well as developing the strategy for existing IP files.  The EIR also leads business formation activities and pursues funding from grants and private investors to enable the translation of the Institute’s technologies.  Finally, the EIR is responsible for the continuing education of the Institute’s members in the area of Life Science Technology Commercialization.

Business Advisory Group

The Business Advisory Group consists of nationally recognized experts who bring unique knowledge and skills in areas that include technology assessment, feasibility analysis, business creation, venture financing, marketing and business development.  This advisory group was formed to complement the knowledge and skills of the Scientific Advisory Board members in order to more effectively govern the Michigan Nanotechnology Institute for Medicine and Biological Sciences.   The Business Advisory Group focuses on two main areas: advising technology commercialization projects and participating in the education of Institute members on the Life Science Technology Commercialization Process.

MNIMBS Intellectual Property Portfolios

MNIMBS continues to be very active in generating intellectual property and collaborates with the Office of Technology Transfer to provide active intellectual property management.  The Institute’s IP is primarily composed of four technology areas: Dendrimer Platform, Nanoemulsion, Photonic Crystal Sensor, and Collagen Imaging.  The Dendrimer Platform Portfolio contains 30 invention reports, 10 pending patent applications, and 4 issued patents.  The Nanoemulsion portfolio is composed of 17 invention reports, over 50 pending patent applications, and 13 issued patents.  Many of the issued and pending patents in this portfolio have been exclusively licensed by the University to NanoBio, Corp.  The Photonic Crystal Sensor Portfolio is composed of one invention report, one pending patent application, and one issued patent.  Finally, the Collagen Imaging Portfolio is composed of one invention report and one pending patent application.

Invention Disclosures 3/1/2011-Present

Over 27 technological advances have been evaluated during the reporting period for possible intellectual property protection.  Based on a strategic assessment, the following Invention Disclosures were filed with the Office of Technology Transfer:


UM 5132 – Dendrimer Conjugate and Methotrexate Analog (8/29/2011), Baohua Huang, James R. Baker Jr, Thommey P. Thomas

UM 5186 – Organophosphate Antidotes (10/10/2011), Abraham F. L. Van Der Spek,
Seok Ki Choi, James R. Baker Jr, Pascale R. Leroueil

UM 5217 – Antibacterial Dendrimer (11/9/2011), James R. Baker Jr, Seok Ki Choi


UM 5262 – Immunogenic Apoptosis Inducing Nanoemulsion (12/15/2011), James R. Baker Jr, Paul E. Makidon

UM 5312 – Nanoemulsion-based Vaccine (2/20/2012), James R. Baker Jr, Paul E. Makidon, Jeffrey Groom, Zhengyi Cao, Jeffery Landers, Douglas Smith



UM 4966 – Plasmin Release (3/14/2011), James R. Baker Jr, Baohua Huang, Pascale R. Leroueil

Provisional Patent Applications 3/1/2011-Present


UM 4902 – Bioorthogonal Reporter

  • US Provisional Patent Application 61/562,767


UM 5132 – Dendrimer Conjugate and Methotrexate Analogue

  • US Provisional Patent Application 61/568,365


Patent Applications 3/1/2011-Present


UM 4351 – Pro-Drug Complexes and Related Methods of Use

  • US Patent Application: 13/378,178 (12/14/2011)


UM 4361 – Synthesis and Isolation of Dendrimers

  • US Patent Application (Pending 02/24/2012)
  • UP Regional Patent Application (Pending 3/26/2012)



UM 4021 – Cancer Vaccine Compositions and Methods of Using the Same

  • US Patent Application: 13/129,795 (5/17/2011)
  • Canada Application: 2743904 (5/16/2011)


UM 4731 – Nanoemulsion Vaccines

  • US Patent Application: 13/174,281 (6/30/2011)
  • PCT Application: PCT/US2011/042658 (6/30/2011)


UM 4370 –  Streptococcus Vaccine Compositions and Methods of Using the Same

  • US Patent Application: 13/174,281 (6/30/2011)


Photonic Crystal

UM 4669 – Photonic Crystal - Metallic Structures and Applications

  • PCT Application: PCT/US2011/038177 (5/26/2011)


Collagen Imaging

UM 4410 - Method for Analyzing Collagenous Tissue for the Detection and Diagnosis of Bone Disease

  • US Patent Application: 12/847,408


Patents Awarded 3/1/2011-Present


UM 1479.1p2 – Antimicrobial Compositions and Methods of Use

  • China Patent: ZL00818745.2 (8/31/2011)

Life Science Commercialization Seminar Series


Initiated based on recommendations from the Institute’s Business Advisory Group, MNIMBS has been working to develop a seminar program to provide an introductory education on the Life Science Technology Commercialization Process for Faculty and Graduate Students at the University of Michigan.  The goal of this program is to improve the successful translation of University Technology by providing a comprehensive overview of the commercialization process.


Background and Overview

The translation and commercialization of Life Science Technology developed in academia is receiving increased attention at both the National and University level.  Unfortunately, University Investigators and Students who conduct Life Science Research do not have an easy way of learning about the commercialization process.  This leads to several challenges including unrealistic expectations of a technology’s commercial potential, communication barriers between research and business experts, inefficient use of preclinical studies, incomplete business planning and missed opportunities for technology licensing.  In recognition of this need, members of the Michigan Nanotechnology Institute for Medicine and Biological Sciences, in collaboration with several interested groups on campus, have developed a framework to teach Faculty and Students about commercializing Life Science Technology. 

The University of Michigan Life Science Commercialization Program is divided into three stages.  The program is initiated with a two day kick-off event that provides a comprehensive overview of the commercialization process as well as an overview of the regulatory process and strategies for preclinical validation.  This initial event will be followed with a one hour, bimonthly seminar series that provides in-depth teaching of specific elements of the commercialization process.  The series will culminate with an event that allows investigators to pitch new business concepts to a panel of investors.  Lectures and discussions will be led by speakers from both academia and industry with a deep knowledge base and experience in commercializing technology in the life sciences.

Target Audience

  • Faculty interested in commercializing established technology
  • New faculty with long term interests in technology translation
  • Graduate Students interested in the commercialization process


Program Benefits for Audience

  • Comprehensive understanding of the factors required for successful commercialization
  • New funding opportunities for research
  • Increased societal impact of research


Program Benefits for the University

  • Greater societal impact of University Research
  • Improved quality of ventures launched out of the University
  • Increased technology licensing agreements


Program Fit with the Commercialization Ecosystem

This program is designed to provide an introductory education on the commercialization process.  In doing so, investigators will be better prepared to leverage the existing resources in the commercialization ecosystem.



Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine

Medical School Business Development

College of Engineering Center for Entrepreneurship

Ross School of Business Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies

Medical Innovation Center



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