Productivity Highlights

Bringing Discoveries to the Marketplace

In the academic sector, the process of bringing discoveries to the marketplace is known as “technology transfer.” Tech transfer is now part of the government’s mandate for institutions that receive federal research funding. By and large, technology transfer is accomplished through the licensing of intellectual property (IP) created by university inventors to companies that have the resources and the desire to develop and apply the technology. In return, universities receive payments (in the form of fees, equity in a company, or royalties on revenues a company earns) for the products or services that have been licensed. Income to the university is distributed according to each institution’s policy, which generally includes compensation to the inventor(s) and a mechanism for channeling revenue back to the research programs of the university.

While technology transfer has been commonplace in the industrial sector for a long time, it is only within the last thirty-six years that the notion of licensing IP for commercial purposes has developed within the academic community due to passage of the Bayh-Dole Act (35 USC 200-212) in 1980.

The staff of the Tufts Office for Technology Transfer and Industry Collaboration (TTIC) work closely with the inventors and industrial collaborators who can develop the early-stage technologies that basic research generates. Increasingly, we find that the best way to transfer early-stage technology is to create start-up companies. TTIC helps catalyze start-ups by building relationships with organizers of private funding—such as angel, seed-stage, and venture investors—and by proactively seeking corporate research collaborations.

Highly Successful Track Record

TTIC’s track record of success and high performance statistics:

  • From fiscal 2007 to 2016, TTIC has collected $65 million in total income
  • TTIC has negotiated license agreements linked to sponsored research agreements that generate millions of dollars of industry-funded research at Tufts:
    • Cumulative sponsored research expenditures linked to start-up licenses, 2007 to 2016: $27M
    • Cumulative sponsored research expenditures linked to other licenses, 2007 to 2016: $5M
  • TTIC executes about 20 industry sponsored research agreements per year

Tufts Royalty Generating Products on the Market

  • Illumina microarrays – genomic analysis
  • Januvia – DPIV combination drugs for type 2 diabetes (reach through) sold by Merck and others
  • ATryn – recombinant antithrombin sold by rEVO Biologics (anti-coagulant)
  • Quanterix – Single-molecule arrays for ultrasensitive biomarker detection
  • Kinderlab Robotics – Childhood education software/hardware programming kit

Tufts University Productivity (2007 – 2016)

Selected Pipeline Products

  • MindChild – Fetal ECG
  • Merck – Animal health vaccine for cryptosporidiosis
  • SafePath Medical –Safe suturing device
  • Quanterix –Single-molecule detection platform for in vitro diagnostics
  • Paratek Pharmaceuticals – Omadacycline for antibiotic-resistant infections
  • Sofregen Medical – silk protein–based tissue/dermal fillers
  • Cocoon Biotech – Early-stage osteoarthritis treatment using silk protein
  • GliaCure – Early-stage drug candidates for neurocognitive disorders