Technology Transfer      

Quarterly newsletter from the UMDNJ Office of Technology Transfer and Business Development 







  July 2012
In This Issue
Recently Issued U.S. Patents
Upcoming Events
Technology Spotlight: Detection of Human Endogenous Retrovirus Expression in Cancer and Normal Cells
BIO 2012: The Global Event for Biotechnology
Spin-Off Company Highlight: Actinobac Biomed, Inc
Recent License Agreements and Amendments
Recently Issued U.S. Patents
Opioid receptor subtype-selective agents; (William Welsh, Youyi Peng, Qiang Zhang, Susan Keenan, Sonia Arora), US Patent # 8,188,128 Opioid receptor compounds and pharmaceutical compositions thereof are presented. Also presented are methods for treating a condition mediated by an opioid receptor by administering an effective amount of the opioid receptor compound to a patient in need thereof. 

Association of GSTM1 with autism and assays and methods based thereon; (Steven Buyske, Edward Stenroos, William Johnson), US Patent # 8,187,806 The present invention provides novel markers and assays for autism based on the association of GSTM1 with autism. The invention relates to the use and application of as a susceptibility marker for autism. GSTM1 may be combined with other markers in methods and assays for diagnosis, prenatal diagnosis, and assessment of autism. The invention further relates to a likelihood ratio test. In addition, the present invention discloses a novel method for identifying individuals who are genetically susceptible to have offspring with autism wherein the genotype of GSTM1, alone or in combination with other genetic markers, is determined.


RNA interferases and methods of use thereof; (Masayori Inouye, Junjie Zhang, Yong Long Zhang), US Patent # 8,183,011 The present invention is directed to the discovery of a novel family of enzymes designated herein as mRNA interferases that exhibit endoribonuclease activity. The novel finding of the present inventors, therefore, presents new applications for which mRNA interferase nucleic and amino acid sequences, and compositions thereof may be used to advantage. The invention also encompasses screening methods to identify compounds/agents capable of modulating mRNA interferase activity and methods for using such compounds/agents. Also provided is a kit comprising mRNA interferase nucleic and/or amino acid sequences, mRNA interferase activity compatible buffers, and instruction materials.


Methods of detecting mastitis by levels of proteasomes; (Kiran Madura), US Patent # 8,183,047 Method and systems for determining if one or more animals has mastitis and for monitoring animals and the quality of the milk they produce are disclosed. Systems and test assays disclosed are used to determine the quantity of proteasomes and proteins thereof, the activity of proteasome enzymes, the quantity of proteasome bound and regulating proteins, and the quantity of ubiquinated protein. Components and reagents for use in the systems and assays are also disclosed.

Tropomyosin isoforms, and diagnostic and therapeutic uses therefor; (Kiron Das, Jim Jung-Ching Lin), US Patent # RE43,472 A novel isoform of tropomyosin is disclosed. The isoform is closely related to epithelial human tropomyosin (hTM) and more particularly to hTM5 except the last coding exon. The novel isoform, is called TC22. Northern blot analysis with TC22-specific probe revealed that normal culture cell lines and normal epithelial tissues expressed very little, if at all, TC22 message, whereas their transformed counterparts and tumor tissues including dysfunction of the alimentary canal, significantly increased the expression of TC22. Assays directed at determining the level of TC22 are useful in diagnostics and therapeutics of dysfunction of the alimentary canal. Specific antibodies and mimics for TC22 are also disclosed for use in diagnostics and therapeutics of dysfunction of the alimentary canal.      


For additional information on any of the above issued patents, please contact the Office of Technology Transfer and Business Development at  

Upcoming Events

Promoting Objectivity in Research: Conflict of Interest 

Judith A. Neubauer, PhD

Clinical Academic Building 1302
New Brunswick, NJ    
3:00pm July 31, 2012

OTTBD Faculty Education Seminar Series: Extracting Value from Research Reagents
Matthew G. Brown, J.D., M.B.A., CLP™
Business Development Manager; EMD Millipore
Newark, NJ
2:30pm, September 20, 2012
*Details TBD   

News Flashes

Available antibodies and animal models?    

The UMDNJ Office of Technology Transfer and Business Development is currently organizing a list of antibodies and animal models available for licensing to various companies that have expressed interest. If you have any antibodies or animals models that you would be interested in licensing, please contact the OTTBD ( to request additional information and to fill out an intake form.


INTERNSHIP ANNOUNCEMENT: Attention postdoctoral trainees and graduate students and postdocs interested in alternative careers

The OTTBD is pleased to announce the fourth year of its internship program where postdoctoral trainees and graduate students interested in pursuing alternative careers in Intellectual Property Law, Business Development, and/or Academic Technology Transfer are invited to apply for the internship program. For additional application details, please email  


The Office of Technology Transfer and Business Development     

The UMDNJ Office of Patents and Licensing (OPL) has changed its name! We are now referred to as the Office of Technology Transfer and Business Development (OTTBD) to better reflect the broad mission of the office within the university. For all e-mail communications:   

Technology Spotlight:   

Detection of Human Endogenous Retrovirus Expression in Cancer and Normal Cells   

Vincent K. Tsiagbe, M.S., Ph.D


Considerable advances have been made in the detection and treatment of human cancers; however, there still remains a need for additional means of detection and treatment. Dr. Vincent K. Tsiagbe, Associate Professor in the Department of Oral Biology (New Jersey Dental School) and Department of Pathology (New Jersey Medical School), at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey has recently developed a novel technology aimed at effectively diagnosing, monitoring, and screening for various cancers.  


The central role of the Immune System is best clarified by the "Immune Surveillance" theory advanced by Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnet in the late 1950s. It proposed that a physiologic function of the immune system is to recognize and destroy clones of transformed cells before they grow into tumors and to kill tumors after they are formed. Sir Macfarlane Burnet along with Sir Peter Medawar, were awarded the 1960 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine for the discovery of acquired immunological tolerance.   While major advances have been made in our understanding of how the immune system surveys and maintains health, there is still a lot to learn about how pathogens subvert the surveillance and elimination mechanisms. Research of Dr. Tsiagbe, and other colleagues, on a mouse model for human B cell derived lymphoma led ultimately to his late mentor, Dr. G. Jeanette Thorbecke's advancement of the "Reverse Immune Surveillance" hypothesis in 1986, to explain how lymphomas exploit the host for their growth. Additional research has shown that mice afflicted with such lymphomas turn on an endogenous retroviral gene in their B cells. The transformed B cells produce "superantigens" that vigorously stimulate a unique family of T helper cells to produce growth factors for lymphoma growth. Further research identified human endogenous retrovirus proteins (HERVs) in various human cancers. Other studies have also linked these genes to HIV infection, autoimmune, and other multi-factorial diseases. Approximately 8% of the human genome consists of these HERV sequences, which are remnants of ancient retroviral integrations in the human genome. While HERV elements have degenerated over millions of years of evolution and most of them can no longer encode complete proteins, some HERV genes still have open reading frames (ORFs) and thus can potentially code for protein. Such molecules may constitute part of the signature key for diagnosing and eliminating various cancers.


Dr. Tsiagbe has likened the Immune System to the National Security Forces of a Government, "The Langerhans cells that constantly survey the skin for foreign matter would be the Secret Service Agents that send identity of invader(s), via Dendritic cells, to the Armed Forces. The B cell rank in the Armed Forces makes specific antibodies (weapons) that specifically recognize the invader(s) for elimination. The MHC molecules constitute citizenship or residency identification cards. Other ranks of the Defense Forces (Helper T cells, Killer T cells, Natural Killer cells and macrophages) are called in for battle. The Memory cells would be the Department of Homeland Security that keeps a record of all individuals that enter the body, in order to facilitate future elimination of miscreants."


Dr. Tsiagbe has identified a specific member of the HERV family that is over-expressed in certain cancers and developed multiple monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies to detect the retroviral protein product in cells and tissues of cancer or normal derivation. These antibodies can be used to help in the diagnosis and screening of various cancers. Furthermore, Dr. Tsiagbe has developed a highly sensitive ELISA detection system using these proprietary antibodies to reveal over-expression of the specific HERV protein in serum and saliva samples for a variety of human cancers including non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, Ovarian cancer, Cervical cancer, and Breast cancer. UMDNJ is excited about the potential for an effective serum and/or saliva-based oncology diagnostic and has filed an International Patent Application on this invention. 


For more information on this technology and related partnership opportunities, contact the UMDNJ Office of Technology Transfer and Business Development:

BIO 2012:

The Global Event for Biotechnology  

BIO 2012 International Convention; New Jersey Pavilion
UMDNJ Staff with New Jersey Lt. Governor, Kim Guadagno

Members of the UMDNJ Office of Technology Transfer and Business Development (OTTBD) attended the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) International Convention, an annual meeting hosted by BIO on June 18-21. BIO is an organization that represents more than 1,100 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers, and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other countries. UMDNJ represented one of the state's leading research institutions along with New Jersey Institute of Technology, Princeton University, and Rutgers University in a large pavilion that was co-sponsored by Choose New Jersey, BioNJ, the Business Action Center (BAC), and the HealthCare Institute of New Jersey (HINJ). Joined by Lt. Governor, Kim Guadagno and armed with the new slogan "Highly educated, perfectly located" the New Jersey pavilion showcased the state as a global life sciences hub. The UMDNJ OTTBD helped to promote promising university research, faculty talent, and overall advantages to partnering with and establishing biotechnology business in the state of New Jersey. Additional promotion of university technologies came from strategic one-on-one meetings with large and small companies in an effort to seek out compatible partners for research development and technology licensing. Overall the meeting was a tremendous success. For additional information please click here.


Spin-Off Company Highlight:

Actinobac Biomed, Inc.


Actinobac Biomed, Inc. is a venture-backed New Jersey-based company  founded in 2009 with headquarters in North Brunswick.  The current focus of its activities involves the development of pharmaceutical technologies based upon the natural biologic agent leukotoxin (Leukothera™), which targets Leukocyte Function Antigen-1 (LFA-1) on white blood cells.  The company has exclusive rights to the therapeutic use of Leukothera™ through a license from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ).


Leukotoxin is a bacterial toxin that targets white blood cells. In laboratory studies, malignant white blood cells have been determined to be more sensitive to Leukotoxin than non-cancerous white blood cells. Animal studies using mouse models for human leukemia have shown Leukotoxin to possess significant anti-leukemia activity. The company is also looking at Leukotoxin for use in autoimmune diseases such as psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, lupus, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.



Leadership Team:



Peter Lobel, PhD
Benjamin Belinka, Ph.D.

 The President and CEO of Actinobac Biomed is Dr. Benjamin Belinka.  Dr. Belinka obtained his Ph.D. in chemistry from State University of NY at Binghamton and has over 28 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry as both a scientist and executive. Dr. Belinka extensively participated in all aspects of the preclinical development of a number of drug candidates designed to combat a variety of disease indications. Additionally, Dr. Belinka has more than a dozen scientific publications and abstracts and 15 patents.


Scott C. Kachlany, Ph.D.

 Actinobac Biomed was founded by Dr. Scott C. Kachlany, Associate Professor of Oral Biology at The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.  Dr. Kachlany serves as Chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee.  He obtained his B.S. degree from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY in 1997 and Ph.D. from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 2001.  He joined the faculty at University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in 2003.



Dr. Kachlany has published more than 30 peer-reviewed research papers, authored a book on oral infectious diseases, and co-authored two book chapters on molecular oral biology and protein secretion systems.  Dr. Kachlany is the recipient of numerous awards and honors including the Howard Hughes Undergraduate Research Fellowship, Paul J. VanDemark Memorial Award, Dean's Award for Excellence in Research, Richard Parker Memorial Award, and the Anthony A. Rizzo Young Investigator Award.  Since 2004, Dr. Kachlany has received more than $3 million in research funding.  He has served on NIH grant review study sections nearly a dozen times and has reviewed manuscripts for numerous peer-reviewed journals including Journal of Bacteriology, Infection and Immunity, Molecular Microbiology, FEMS Microbiology Letters, Applied and Environmental Microbiology, Oral Microbiology and Immunology, and Veterinary Microbiology.  In addition to research, Dr. Kachlany is on numerous committees at UMDNJ. 


For more information on Actinobac Biomed, Inc. and partnership opportunities, please visit or contact the UMDNJ Office of Technology Transfer and Business Development: 

Recent License Agreements and Amendments

Amendment to a license agreement covering educational material developed at UMDNJ protected with a copyright.


Amendment to a non-exclusive license agreement covering Molecular Beacons technology.


Amended and Restated Exclusive License to a UMDNJ spin-off company adding newly developed technologies.


Exclusive License Agreement to technology useful for detection of bovine mastitis developed at UMDNJ.


Exclusive License Agreement to a UMDNJ spin-off company covering technology with diagnostic and therapeutic potential in oncology. 


Exclusive License Agreement to a UMDNJ spin-off company covering technology in the area of prevention and treatment of metabolic diseases. 


Exclusive Option Agreement to a technology developed jointly by UMDNJ and Columbia University researchers. 

UMDNJ Office of  Technology Transfer and Business Development


UMDNJ Office of Technology Transfer and Business Development Staff

Top left to right: Robert Bzdek, Christopher Izzo, Vince Smeraglia

Bottom left to right: Laura Schepps, Norell Hadzimichalis, Tejal Talati, Anya Nikiforova, Susan Rae, Tania Litvin-Vechnyak (Not shown: Lilly Cohen, Mona Daniels-Riley, Sue Dolci, Elysa Goldberg, Nicole O'Hara)



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