Andersen lands national honor: Golden Stopwatch Award

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UNeMed contracts specialist Jeff Andersen meets with guests during the 2016 UNMC Technology Demonstration Day.

UNeMed contracts specialist Jeff Andersen meets with guests during the 2016 UNMC Technology Demonstration Day.

OMAHA, Nebraska (Dec. 5, 2019)—UNeMed contracts specialist Jeff Andersen earned national recognition recently with a Golden Stopwatch Award.

“It’s an area that doesn’t often get much attention, but Jeff Andersen has quietly become one of the best contracting managers in the nation,” UNeMed president and CEO Michael Dixon said. “His customer service and turn-around time on MTAs (material transfer agreements) and CDAs (confidential disclosure agreements) is outstanding.”

Presented by Addgene, the Golden Stopwatch Award recognizes technology transfer professionals for “outstanding” turnaround times in processing MTAs. Addgene is a major international plasmid repository based in Watertown, Massachusetts.

This is Addgene’s first year presenting the awards. In all, 37 tech transfer agents around the world received the honor.

“The best thing about receiving the award is that it is a reflection of our great team here at UNeMed,” Andersen said. “My colleagues here are a true asset – I couldn’t do it without them. The open lines of communication and the spirit of teamwork here at the office allow us to keep things on track and provide high quality service to our university, its faculty and its staff, which, at the end of the day, is our ultimate goal”

An MTA is a legal contract commonly prepared, reviewed and processed by tech transfer and commercialization offices, such as UNeMed. MTAs document the transfer of tangible research materials between institutions. These tangible research materials are usually biological materials, such as plasmids, cell lines, mice strains, or human tissue, but may also include non-biological materials as well.

MTAs allow scientists to obtain these essential research materials from other institutions, but they set forth parameters under which the research materials may be used. Ideally, MTA parameters protect the interests of both parties, while ensuring adherence to applicable institutional and legal requirements. Parameters may include terms related to confidentiality obligations, duration of use, the type of use, ownership of intellectual property arising from the use, publication of results, warranty, liability, or compliance with applicable laws.

On average, Andersen and UNeMed field about 358 MTAs each year. Since Andersen joined UNeMed in January 2015, UNeMed has processed about 1,458 MTAs.

In the fiscal year ending in 2019, UNeMed processed 344 MTA requests. The company record is 390, set in 2017.

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MidWest Drug Development Conference hits the mark again

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OMAHA, Nebraska (November 18, 2019)—The second MidWest Drug Development conference held last month was another resounding success.

The conference featured 42 technology presentations from 18 Midwestern universities, and 30 different companies and investor groups. An estimated 240 one-on-one partnering meetings were held during the two-day event, opening the door to additional opportunities for each participating university.

“I know we got a lot of value out of the conference, and I’ve had nothing but positive feedback from just about everyone I talked to,” said Matt Boehm, the event coordinator and director of licensing for UNeMed, the technology transfer and commercialization office for the University of Nebraska Medical Center. UNeMed is also the primary sponsor and host of the event.

Boehm added that he sat in on 17 one-on-one partnering meetings during the event, resulting in ongoing conversations that may yet lead to further development.

“That’s exactly what we want this conference to do,” UNeMed president and CEO Michael Dixon said. “New therapies, treatments and cures are the kind of things that can grow out of those deeper conversations. And, honestly, I think there’s a huge blind spot for the innovation that happens in the Midwest, and we really want this conference to help change that. Not just for us in Nebraska, but for all our friends in the region.”

Meet new partners, unearth hidden gems at the Midwest Drug Development Conference in Omaha, Nebraska, Sept. 30-Oct. 1, 2019. Seventeen major Midwest medical research institutions with their best and brightest technologies will be in one place, including Cincinnati Children's Hospital, Mayo Clinic, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas State, Purdue, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Toledo and Wisconsin (WARF). Those institutions accounted for (according to 2017 AUTM data): $6.65 billion in research 2,815 new inventions 950 licensing agreements 768 U.S. patents 153 new products 117 startups formed 25 blockbusters (licensing agreements worth $1 million or more)

All told, an estimated 111 people attended the conference. About half were researchers, inventors and other University representatives. The remainder were largely representatives of pharmaceutical companies, biotech companies or venture capital groups.

Among the represented pharmaceutical companies were Pfizer, Merck, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Boehringer Ingelheim and Otsuka. Among the represented venture capital firms were Atlas Ventures, Abbvie Ventures, Rivervest Ventures and 5AM  Ventures.

The mix of attendees created an ideal environment for University innovators to meet and build new relationships with industry, according to comments provided by conference goers who participated in a post-event survey.

“This is the single most important partnering event to cover academic institutions across the Midwest,” said an industry representative who attended the event.

Attendees from the university side were equally positive about the event.

“We have entered into early licensing negotiations will nearly all of the connections made at MWDDC,” said one University representative. “The opportunity to share portfolios and initiate conversations has been very valuable, leading to on-going discussions on a number of technologies.”

Another University representative added: “To a person, the industry people I talked with—both in one-on-one meetings and in casual conversations—stated that they valued the chance to meet in one place; the number of tech transfer offices; and to see the number, variety, and breadth of technologies to which they were exposed.”

The participating universities and research institutions were Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Kansas State, Kentucky, Mayo Clinic, Missouri, Missouri-Kansas City, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Purdue, South Dakota, Toledo and Wisconsin.

Organizers are looking at hosting the 2020 MidWest Drug Development Conference again next October, and will finalize plans in the coming months.

 

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UNeMed will be featured in halftime radio show

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Michael DixonLINCOLN, Nebraska (Nov. 15, 2019)—UNeMed President and CEO, Michael Dixon, Ph.D., will be the featured guest during the University of Nebraska President’s Halftime Show of the Cornhuskers’ football game with the No. 14 Wisconsin Badgers on Saturday.

The game kickoffs in Lincoln at 11 a.m., and the radio broadcast will be carried on the Husker IMG Sports Network, which can be heard in Omaha on 590 AM. A list of additional IMG affiliates can be found here.

Interim President Susan Fritz, Ph.D., is expected to explore entrepreneurship and innovation at the University during a five-minute interview with Dr. Dixon and host Greg Sharpe, the Voice of the Huskers.

The show will look at the various tools the University provides for entrepreneurs throughout the state, and examine the value of innovations developed at the University, and how they might impact not just Nebraskans, but people everywhere.

*UPDATE (Nov. 18, 2019): Listen to the full interview here. (https://nebraska.edu/-/media/projects/unca/audio/president-fritz/president-halftime-interview–wisconsin-11162019.mp3?la=en)

 

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Edagwa, Hopkins, Johanning headline top awards

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Benson Edagwa, Ph.D., (left) chats with colleagues during the 2019 Innovation Awards ceremony on Thursday, Oct. 17. Later in the evening, Dr. Edagwa was named the 2019 Emerging Inventor.

OMAHA, Neb. (October 18, 2019)—Innovation Week concluded last night with the 2019 Research Innovation Awards Banquet.

UNMC researchers Benson Edagwa, Ph.D., and Corey Hopkins, Ph.D., were presented the top honors and highlighted the 13th installment of UNeMed’s awards program. Vascular surgeon and Professor Jason Johanning, M.D., was also singled out with a special award.

Sponsored and hosted by UNeMed, the awards program specifically recognizes UNMC and UNO innovators and their work, conferring awards to those who have disclosed a new invention, were issued a United States patent, or had their technology licensed for further commercial development.

The awards ceremony honored a new innovation from Dr. Hopkins as the Most Promising New Invention, and Dr. Edagwa was named the Emerging Inventor. Dr. Johnanning’s FutureAssure was named UNeTech’s Startup of the Year.

From left are Chancellor Jeffrey Gold, M.D., Corey Hopkins, Ph.D., and UNeMed President and CEO, Michal Dixon, Ph.D. Dr. Hopkins’ PDE4B Selective Inhibitors was named UNeMed’s Most Promising New Invention of the year during the 2019 Innovation Awards ceremony on Thursday, Oct. 17.

Dr. Hopkins is developing a novel series of inhibitors that hold promise as treatments for several inflammatory diseases, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis and inflammatory bowel disease. His inhibitors, which target phosphodiesterase 4 or PDE4, also show promise in central nervous system diseases like schizophrenia, neurodegenerative diseases and even drug addiction.

Dr. Edagwa was the 2019 Emerging Inventor in recognition of his contributions to innovations in the development of long-acting antiretroviral therapies.

From left are Chancellor Jeffrey Gold, M.D., Benson Edagwa, Ph.D., and UNeMed President and CEO, Michal Dixon, Ph.D. Dr. Edagwa was named UNeMed’s Emerging Inventor of the year during the 2019 Innovation Awards ceremony on Thursday, Oct. 17.

Since he joined UNMC in 2012, Dr. Edagwa has been an inventor on 11 inventions, including three in the last year. He is also a listed inventor on 11 pending patent applications. Most of his work centers on improvements to treating HIV and Hepatitis B, and is a key inventor of LASER ART (long acting slow effective antiretroviral therapy). LASER ART shows great promise as a treatment that could be given to HIV patients once every six months or even just once a year. LASER ART was also a key component in a recent study led by Howard Gendelman, M.D., that appeared to eradicate HIV from mice—a scientific first.

From left are Chancellor Jeffrey Gold, M.D., Jason Johanning, M.D., and UNeMed President and CEO, Michal Dixon, Ph.D. Dr. Johanning’s startup company, FutureAssure, was named UNeTech’s Startup of the Year during the 2019 Innovation Awards ceremony on Thursday, Oct. 17..

Dr. Johanning created his startup, FutureAssure, on the foundation of a device he invented that will help measure a patient’s risk in surgery. The device gives medical teams objective measures to assess that risk and eventually improve outcomes and surgical safety.

The evening also featured a keynote speaker, noted chemist Dennis Liotta, Ph.D. He is the Executive Director for the Emory Institute for Drug Development at Emory University, and helped transform HIV/AIDS from a death sentence into a chronic but manageable infection.

It is estimated that about 90 percent of all HIV-infected patients in the United States have taken one of the two drugs he invented.

Dennis Liotta, Ph.D., delievered a noon presentation to an estimated 140 on Thursday, Oct. 17, as a part of Innovation Week 2019. He also delevered the keynote address during the Innovation Awards banquet later that evening.

Dr. Liotta talked about his long road toward a blockbuster drug development that spanned more than 15 years, but ultimately resulted in a $525 million in royalties to Emory University in 2005.

“This looks like the bottom line. This looks like the end of the story, but it’s not,” Dr. Liotta said.

The money only lasts so long, and it’s important to have the infrastructure of support so that large-impact developments can happen more often, he said.

Earlier in the day, at noon, Dr. Liotta hosted a well-attended seminar entitled: “Novel Therapeutics for Treating Viral Diseases, Cancer and Inflammatory Disorder.” The presentation was a scientific look at his more current work, including an algorithmic system called FRESH. It uses machine learning to help discover more promising new drug candidates.

The awards banquet later that evening was the culmination of Innovation Week, an annual celebration that promotes and recognizes innovation and research at UNMC and UNO.

Innovation Week began Monday with a Kick-Off event, and then on Tuesday UNeTech, the University’s startup incubator, hosted an open house. On Wednesday, Nebraska Bio sponsored its popular annual event, a luncheon and panel discussion that celebrates women in STEM fields—science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Learn more about Innovation Week and UNeMed at https://unemed.com/innovation-week.

2019 Innovation Awards Program by UNeMed Corporation on Scribd

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Liotta talk, awards close out I-week today

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OMAHA, Neb. (October 17, 2019)—Innovation Week concludes today with a noon seminar from a world-renowned researcher, followed by the anticipated awards ceremony later this evening.

Dr. Liotta

At noon, noted chemist Dennis Liotta, Ph.D., will lead a one hour seminar in the DRC auditorium. He is the Executive Director for the Emory Institute for Drug Development, and helped transform HIV/AIDS from a death sentence into a chronic but manageable infection.

It is estimated that about 90 percent of all HIV-infected patients in the United States have taken one of the two drugs he invented. The title of his seminar, which is free and open to all: “Novel Therapeutics for Treating Viral Diseases, Cancers and Inflammatory Disorders.”

Pizza will be provided first-come, first-served.

The week culminates later tonight with an awards program that specifically recognizes innovators and their work, conferring awards to those who have disclosed a new invention, were issued a United States patent, or had their technology licensed for further commercial development.

The awards program is invitation only.

UNeMed’s Innovation Week is an annual celebration that promotes and recognizes innovation and research at UNMC and UNO.

Innovation Week began Monday with a Kick-Off event, and then on Tuesday UNeTech, the University’s startup incubator, hosted an open house. Finally, on Wednesday, Nebraska Bio sponsored its popular annual event, a luncheon and panel discussion that celebrates women in STEM fields—science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Learn more about Innovation Week and UNeMed at https://unemed.com/innovation-week.

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Women in STEM luncheon is today

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OMAHA, Neb. (October 16, 2019)—Innovation Week continues today at a luncheon and panel discussion that celebrates Nebraska women in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM for short.

Sponsored and hosted by Bio Nebraska, the luncheon will be held at 11 a.m.-2 p.m. in the Empire Room at Midtown Crossing in Omaha. Registrations are now closed.

The planned speakers are Nancy Williams—co-founding President and CEO of No More Empty Pots—and Shonna Dorsey, senior IT consultant for Mutual of Omaha.

Innovation Week is an annual celebration that promotes and recognizes innovation and research at UNMC and UNO, and is sponsored by UNeMed.

Remaining events include a seminar about breakthrough HIV treatments from a world-renowned academic researcher, and the annual awards ceremony.

On Thursday, Oct. 17, at noon, world-renowned researcher and chemist, Dennis Liotta, Ph.D., will lead a one hour seminar. He is the Executive Director for the Emory Institute for Drug Development, and helped transform HIV/AIDS from a death sentence into a chronic but manageable infection. It is estimated that about 90 percent of all HIV-infected patients in the United States have taken one of the two drugs he invented. The title of his seminar, which is free and open to all: “Novel Therapeutics for Treating Viral Diseases, Cancers and Inflammatory Disorders.”

Dr. Liotta

The seminar will be held in the DRC auditorium, beginning at noon. Pizza will be provided first-come, first-served.

The week culminates Thursday evening with an awards program that specifically recognizes innovators and their work, conferring awards to those who have disclosed a new invention, were issued a United States patent, or had their technology licensed for further commercial development.

The awards program is invitation only.

Innovation Week began Monday with a Kick-Off event, and then on Tuesday UNeTech, the University’s startup incubator, hosted an open house.

Learn more about Innovation Week and UNeMed at https://unemed.com/innovation-week.

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UNeTech Open House is tonight

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OMAHA, Neb. (October 15, 2019)—Innovation Week continues today when UNeTech, the University’s startup incubator, hosts an open house beginning at 4 p.m.

The Open House will feature local entrepreneurs who will demonstrate early-stage technologies that are the basis for new startup companies in healthcare-related industries. It will be held at UNeTech at 3929 Harney Street.

Sponsored by UNeMed, Innovation Week is an annual celebration that promotes and recognizes innovation and research at UNMC and UNO.

Other events include a seminar about breakthrough HIV treatments from a world-renowned academic researcher; a luncheon panel discussion; and an awards ceremony.

On Wednesday, Oct. 16, Bio Nebraska will sponsor a luncheon and panel discussion that celebrates Nebraska women in STEM—science, technology, engineering and math. It will be held at 11 a.m.-2 p.m. in the Empire Room at Midtown Crossing in Omaha. Registrations for that event are now closed.

Dr. Liotta

On Thursday, Oct. 17, at noon, world-renowned researcher and chemist, Dennis Liotta, Ph.D., will lead a one hour seminar. He is the Executive Director for the Emory Institute for Drug Development, and helped transform HIV/AIDS from a death sentence into a chronic but manageable infection. It is estimated that about 90 percent of all HIV-infected patients in the United States have taken one of the two drugs he invented. The title of his seminar, which is free and open to all: “Novel Therapeutics for Treating Viral Diseases, Cancers and Inflammatory Disorders.”

The seminar will be held in the DRC auditorium, beginning at noon. Pizza will be provided first-come, first-served.

The week culminates Thursday evening with an awards program that specifically recognizes innovators and their work, conferring awards to those who have disclosed a new invention, were issued a United States patent, or had their technology licensed for further commercial development.

The awards program is invitation only.

Innovation Week began Monday with a Kick-Off event that featured complimentary coffee and other giveaways. There, guests met with UNeMed staff, and learned more about how UNeMed can help inventors develop their innovations.

Learn more about Innovation Week and UNeMed at https://unemed.com/innovation-week.

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UNeMed hosts 2019 Boot Camp

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by Catherine Murari-Kanti, UNeMed | October 14, 2019

Scott Mulder (left) and Quinn Nelson discuss their project during the 2019 Tech Transfer Boot Camp at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Boot Camp is hosted by UNeMed, the tech transfer and commercialization office for UNMC and the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Medical students, graduate students and research technicians and scientists from UNMC, UNO and UNL filled out UNeMed’s fourth Technology Transfer Boot Camp, held Aug. 12-16, 2019. The Boot Camp provides a comprehensive understanding of technology transfer and research commercialization.

Catherine Murari-Kanti, Ph.D., (right) leads the UNeMed’s Tech Transfer Boot Camp. At left is UNeMed intern A.J. Crawford.

A combination of classroom instruction and interactive team-based activities allowed the students to experience what it would be like to work in a technology transfer office. They evaluated real inventions and performed prior art searches while learning to navigate intellectual property law, technology marketing, contract negotiation and entrepreneurship. They worked as teams to develop marketing strategies, draft confidential and non-confidential invention summaries and participate in mock licensing negotiations. At the end of the Boot Camp, each team presented their findings to the UNeMed team, and the UNeMed team, in turn, quizzed the students about their conclusions.

The UNeMed Boot Camp provides an option for graduate students looking into alternative career options, and helps prepare them for better internship opportunities at university technology transfer offices or business development positions in industry.

The 2019 Boot Camp garnered enough interest from University faculty that UNeMed is considering plans for a faculty-only technology transfer workshops in 2020. If you are interested, please reach out to Catherine Murari-Kanti at catherine.murari@unmc.edu.

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UNeMed releases 2019 annual report

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OMAHA, Nebraska (Oct. 14, 2019)—UNeMed released today its 2019 annual report, which details UNeMed’s key metrics, and highlights notable achievements during the fiscal year ending in 2019.

In an open letter to readers, UNeMed President and CEO Michael Dixon, Ph.D., highlights the addition of new tools available to UNeMed staffers as they help commercialize and transfer University-born innovation into the public sector.

Last year, UNeMed built a new conference that sought use the collective power of the region as a way to leverage more interest and engagement from pharmaceutical companies and investor groups. The MidWest Drug Development Conference, was “a resounding success,” Dixon said.

The conference played a large role in grant support from SHARPhub, which uses NIH money to provide entrepreneurial resources to researchers in the Midwest. SHARPhub is short for Sustainable Heartland Accelerator Regional Partnership, and is available in North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma.

“SHARPhub will provide the kind of support that UNMC and UNO startups might need to be more competitive for venture or SBIR funding,” Dixon said, “or it might help provide support for additional development of new technology.”

Dixon also highlighted the growth of UNeTech as a biomedical startup accelerator in the region.

“UNeTech can be a place where biomedical entrepreneurs can move past their origin stories to develop products that have a national and global impact on human health,” Dixon said.

The annual report offers more details on the Drug Development Conference, and also highlights the Innovation Overground, a tech transfer podcast UNeMed launched in July 2018. The report also details the 2018 Innovation Awards banquet, and the more recent news about Howard Gendleman, M.D., and his team’s breakthrough with HIV.

Finally, several key technologies currently available for licensing are also included in the report.

The report can be viewed online, and printed copies are also available. Contact UNeMed to receive a free printed copy.

 

2019 UNeMed Annual Report by on Scribd

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Innovation Week kicks off today

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OMAHA, Neb. (October 14, 2019)—Innovation Week opens today with a Kick-Off event at the Durham Research Center atrium at 9-11a.m.

The Kick-Off will feature complimentary coffee and doughnuts, along with free UNeMed T-shirts and other giveaways. Guests are invited to meet with UNeMed staff, and learn more about how UNeMed can help inventors develop their innovations.

UNeMed’s Innovation Week is an annual celebration that promotes and recognizes innovation and research at UNMC and UNO.

Other events include an open house of local early-stage startup companies; a seminar about breakthrough HIV treatments from a world-renowned academic researcher; and a luncheon panel discussion.

On Tuesday, Oct. 15, the University’s startup incubator, UNeTech, will host an open house. Beginning at 4 p.m., local entrepreneurs will demonstrate early-stage technologies that are the basis for new startup companies in healthcare-related industries. The open house will be held at UNeTech at 3929 Harney Street.

On Wednesday, Oct. 16, Bio Nebraska will sponsor a luncheon and panel discussion that celebrates Nebraska women in STEM—science, technology, engineering and math. It will be held at 11 a.m.-2 p.m. in the Empire Room at Midtown Crossing in Omaha. Registrations for that event are now closed.

Dr. Liotta

On Thursday, Oct. 17, at noon, world-renowned researcher and chemist, Dennis Liotta, Ph.D., will lead a one hour seminar. He is the Executive Director for the Emory Institute for Drug Development, and helped transform HIV/AIDS from a death sentence into a chronic but manageable infection. It is estimated that about 90 percent of all HIV-infected patients in the United States have taken one of the two drugs he invented. The title of his seminar, which is free and open to all: “Novel Therapeutics for Treating Viral Diseases, Cancers and Inflammatory Disorders.”

The seminar will be held in the DRC auditorium, beginning at noon. Pizza will be provided first-come, first-served. The event is open and free to everyone.

The week culminates Thursday evening with an awards program that specifically recognizes innovators and their work, conferring awards to those who have disclosed a new invention, were issued a United States patent, or had their technology licensed for further commercial development.

The awards program is invitation only.

Learn more about Innovation Week and UNeMed at https://unemed.com/innovation-week.

 

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Innovation Week 2019 starts Monday

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OMAHA, Neb. (October 9, 2019)—Innovation Week, an annual celebration that promotes and recognizes innovation and research at UNMC and UNO, begins on Monday.

Events include a kick-off to meet UNeMed staff; an open house of local, early-stage startup companies; a seminar about breakthrough HIV treatments from a world-renowned academic researcher; and a luncheon panel discussion.

Innovation Week opens on Monday, Oct. 14, with a Kick-Off at the Durham Research Center atrium at 9-11a.m. The Kick-Off will feature complimentary coffee and doughnuts, along with free UNeMed T-shirts and other giveaways. Guests are invited to meet with UNeMed staff, and learn more about how UNeMed can help inventors develop their innovations.

Dr. Liotta

The week will be highlighted on Thursday, Oct. 17, at noon with a one-hour seminar from world-renowned researcher and chemist, Dennis Liotta, Ph.D. He is the Executive Director for the Emory Institute for Drug Development, and helped transform HIV/AIDS from a death sentence into a chronic but manageable infection. It is estimated that about 90 percent of all HIV-infected patients in the United States have taken one of the two drugs he invented. The title of his seminar, which is free and open to all: “Novel Therapeutics for Treating Viral Diseases, Cancers and Inflammatory Disorders.”

The seminar will be held in the DRC auditorium, beginning at noon. Pizza will be provided first-come, first-served.

On Tuesday, Oct. 15, the University’s startup incubator, UNeTech, will host an open house. Beginning at 4 p.m., local entrepreneurs will demonstrate early-stage technologies that are the basis for new startup companies in healthcare-related industries. The open house will be held at UNeTech at 3929 Harney Street.

On Wednesday, Oct. 16, Bio Nebraska will sponsor a luncheon and panel discussion that celebrates Nebraska women in STEM—science, technology, engineering and math. It will be held at 11 a.m.-2 p.m. in the Empire Room at Midtown Crossing in Omaha. To book one of the last few remaining seats, register before the close of business on Friday: https://www.bionebraska.org/women-in-stem.aspx.

The week culminates Thursday evening with an awards program that specifically recognizes innovators and their work, conferring awards to those who have disclosed a new invention, were issued a United States patent, or had their technology licensed for further commercial development.

The awards program is invitation only.

Learn more about Innovation Week and UNeMed at https://unemed.com/innovation-week.

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Drug development conference: Discounted room rate expires Friday

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OMAHA, Neb. (Aug. 27, 2019)—The special, discounted room rate available for early registrants of the second MidWest Drug Development Conference expires this Friday, Aug. 30.

A link to the discounted room rate can be found by clicking the “Venue” tab on the conference website (http://www.mwdrugdevelopment.com/#venue).

Friday also marks the 30-day mark for the conference, which begins on Monday, Sept. 30. The conference concludes the following day, Tuesday, Oct. 1. It will be held at the Capital District Marriott in downtown Omaha.

The event will feature top therapeutic technologies from each participating institution. All told, about 50 therapeutic technologies will be highlighted during 10-minute presentations at the two-day conference. Another key feature of the conference are the one-on-one partnering meetings that build new relationships between academic researchers and industrial partners or venture capital groups.

Included among the participants are such notable medical research institutions as Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Kansas State University, Mayo Clinic, Ohio State University, Purdue University, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, University of Iowa, University of Kansas, University of Kentucky, University of Missouri, University of Missouri-Kansas City, University of Nebraska Medical Center, University of Notre Dame, University of Oklahoma, University of South Dakota, University of Toledo and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation or WARF.

According to the most recent data available, 2019’s participating institutions collectively spent more than $6.6 billion in research, created 2,764 new inventions, secured 745 new U.S. patents, and launched 117 new startups in 2017 alone, according to the Association of University Technology Managers.

At the inaugural conference last year, 113 people attended the conference, including representatives from 24 companies and investment groups. About 146 one-on-one partnering meetings were scheduled over the two day conference.

Cost is $500 per ticket, but a limited number of registration fees will be waived for those who represent pharmaceutical firms, investment groups or other parties interested in supporting early-stage therapeutics. Contact conference organizers to learn how to receive a waiver code.

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Save the date:
Innovation Week coming in October

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OMAHA, Neb. (August 21, 2019)—UNeMed plans to host its annual Innovation Week festivities the week of October 14.

Innovation Week is a popular series of events intended to celebrate and promote innovation and research at UNMC and UNO. Events include a kick-off event to meet UNeMed staff; an open house of local early-stage startup companies; an informational seminar; and a luncheon panel discussion.

The week culminates with an awards program that specifically recognizes innovators and their work, conferring awards to those who have disclosed a new invention, were issued a United States patent, or had their technology licensed for further commercial development.

UNeMed is the technology transfer and commercialization office for the University of Nebraska Medical Center and the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Innovation Week opens on Monday, Oct. 14, with a Kick-Off at the Durham Research Center atrium at 9-11a.m. The Kick-Off event will feature complimentary coffee and doughnuts, along with free UNeMed T-shirts and other giveaways. Guests are invited to meet with UNeMed staff and learn more about how UNeMed can help inventors develop their innovations.

The following day, Oct. 15, the University’s startup incubator, UNeTech, will host an open house. Beginning at 4 p.m., local entrepreneurs will demonstrate early-stage technologies that are the basis for new startup companies in healthcare-related industries. The open house will be held at UNeTech at 3929 Harney Street.

On Wednesday, Oct. 16, Bio Nebraska will sponsor a luncheon and panel discussion that celebrates Nebraska women in STEM—science, technology, engineering and math. It will be held at 11 a.m.-2 p.m. in the Empire Room at Midtown Crossing in Omaha. Follow this link for more details and to register.

Innovation Week continues Thursday, Oct. 17, at noon with a one-hour seminar from the world-renowned researcher and chemist, Dennis Liotta, Ph.D. Dr. Liotta is the Executive Director for the Emory Institute for Drug Development, and helped transform HIV/AIDS from a death sentence into a chronic but manageable infection. It is estimated that about 90 percent of all HIV-infected patients in the United States have taken one of the two drugs he invented. The title of his seminar, which is free and open to all: “Novel Therapeutics for Treating Viral Diseases, Cancers and Inflammatory Disorders.”

The seminar will be held in the DRC auditorium, beginning at noon. Seating is first-come, first-served.

Finally, Innovation Week concludes with the annual Awards Ceremony, which will feature a keynote address from Dr. Liotta, along with brief remarks from UNMC and UNO Chancellor Jeffrey Gold, M.D.

The Awards program is invitation only. Interested parties may reach out to UNeMed to request an invitation.

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Podcast looks at lab-grown meat

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OMAHA, Neb. (Aug. 12, 2019)—UNeMed’s tech transfer podcast, “Innovation Overground,” published this morning its latest episode, “Ethical eagle burgers.”

In the latest episode, Overground hosts Joe Runge, Tyler Scherr and Charlie Litton, discuss lab-grown meat and cellular agriculture. The crew also talks about the potential effects on food and hunger with the rise of industrial-scale cell cultures

Innovation Overground was created to help promote academic innovation and the technology transfer and commercialization efforts at the University of Nebraska and beyond. The podcast intends to examine what it takes to advance academic inventions and discoveries beyond the research bench and into people’s lives as “actual things on a shelf.”

New episodes are published on Mondays, and are available on most podcast channels, including Google Play Music, iTunes, iHeartMusic, Podomatic, Spotify and Spreaker.

Use the below links to subscribe, listen to previous episodes and learn more.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Listen on Google Play Music
Listen on iHeart Radio
Innovation Overground on Spotify
Listen to this podcast on Spreaker
Player FM
Pocket Cast
Luminary

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UNeMed podcast looks at the cost of medicine, Alzheimer’s

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OMAHA, Neb. (Aug. 5, 2019)—UNeMed’s tech transfer podcast, “Innovation Overground,” published this morning its latest episode, “Alzheimer’s billion-dollar life lesson.”

In the latest episode, Overground hosts Joe Runge, Tyler Scherr and Charlie Litton, discuss incredible cost of failure in the world of drug development. The crew also talk about recent discoveries that challenge what we thought we knew about Alzheimer’s disease.

Innovation Overground was created to help promote academic innovation and the technology transfer and commercialization efforts at the University of Nebraska and beyond. The podcast intends to examine what it takes to advance academic inventions and discoveries beyond the research bench and into people’s lives as “actual things on a shelf.”

New episodes are published on Mondays, and are available on most podcast channels, including Google Play Music, iTunes, iHeartMusic, Podomatic, Spotify and Spreaker.

Use the below links to subscribe, listen to previous episodes and learn more.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Listen on Google Play Music
Listen on iHeart Radio
Innovation Overground on Spotify
Listen to this podcast on Spreaker
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UNeTech lands $750,000 matching federal grant

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Project will form university/community partnership to develop medical device pipeline

Dr. Rod Markin (left) and Joe Runge.

OMAHA, Neb. (Aug. 1, 2019)—Omaha Medical Technology Pipeline–a joint effort among the University of Nebraska Medical Center, the University of Nebraska at Omaha, the Nebraska Business Development Center, Metropolitan Community College, and the Omaha Chamber of Commerce–was one of 26 organizations chosen to receive a $750,000 matching grant over three years through the U.S. Department of Commerce’s i6 Challenge program for 2019.

The grants were announced July 23 by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross under the 2019 Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) program competition through the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA).

Omaha Medical Technology Pipeline is a start-up project being developed by UNeTech, an institute designed to identify promising start-up companies and help them become successful.

“We greatly appreciate the recognition given by the EDA to the innovative programs established by the state of Nebraska, UNO, UNMC and the Omaha entrepreneurial community,” said Rod Markin, M.D., Ph.D., executive director of UNeTech. “Omaha is so fortunate to have great resources in place to advance innovative concepts into outstanding products, and the UNeTech Institute is excited to get to work with the EDA. This support will allow us to transition from a research environment to a product development and business opportunity.”

Dr. Markin said the project will harness the impressive resources throughout the community to invent, build and commercialize new medical devices.

“Nationally recognized hospitals in Omaha employ some of the most innovative and respected clinicians,” Dr. Markin said. “Omaha has also recently added critical resources to shepherd innovative medical technologies from concept to commercialization.”

Dr. Markin praised Joe Runge, associate director of UNeTech, for his relentless efforts in landing the grant. “This was the third time we had applied for this grant, and we were not selected the previous two times,” he said. “Joe was convinced we should keep trying. I really appreciate his tenacity. He got the job done.”

Runge, who also serves as UNeMed’s business development manager, said the grant could be a difference maker for Omaha’s entrepreneurial community.

“While Omaha has a growing stable of promising medical technology concepts, the city has lacked the programmatic oversight to both align and oversee the commercialization process,” Runge said. “With the Omaha Medical Technology Pipeline project, Omaha now has world-class resources to match the expertise of its physicians to prototype, validate and embody medical technology in lifesaving entrepreneurial opportunities.”

At the end of this project, Runge said UNeTech expects to process 60 new medical technology inventions, file 60 patents or copyrights and launch or expand 25 companies.

“We hope to create meaningful, real-world work experiences for more than 60 undergraduate and graduate students in 3D design, rapid prototyping, market analysis and marketing, create or retain more than 100 jobs, and engage more than 200 participants in the medical technology pipeline,” he said.

The proposal had more than 30 letters of support from community organizations and business leaders, Dr. Markin said. These included Nebraska Medicine, Children’s Hospital & Medical Center, Nebraska Department of Economic Development, Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, Metropolitan Community College, Nebraska Business Development Center, UNO Department of Biomechanics, as well as several clinicians.

Tyler Scherr, Ph.D., a licensing associate at UNeMed added: “The bottom line is, we believe Omaha is home to some of the world’s best and brightest clinicians and faculty–world renowned surgeons and researchers. Pound for pound, we’d put our faculty, staff, students and entrepreneurs up against those from anywhere else in the world. This proposal represents UNeTech placing a $750,000 bet on our faculty–and we do not expect them to disappoint.”

About the EDA: As the only federal government agency focused exclusively on economic development, the EDA plays a critical role in facilitating regional economic development efforts in communities across the nation. Guided by the basic principle that sustainable economic development should be locally-driven, EDA works directly with communities and regions to help them build the capacity for economic development based on local business conditions and needs. EDA’s grant investments in planning, technical assistance, and infrastructure construction are designed to leverage existing regional assets to support the implementation of economic development strategies that make it easier for businesses to start and grow.

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