Licensing of Research Tools 
A special edition newsletter from the UMDNJ Office of Technology Transfer and Business Development 
January 2013


Dear UMDNJ Faculty and Biomedical Research Community, 

The UMDNJ Office of Technology Transfer and Business Development (OTTBD) is excited to announce the official launch of our streamlined Research Tool Licensing Program. This Special Edition Newsletter aims to advertise this program to both UMDNJ faculty and industry executives.

Over the past few months, our office has been looking at ways to help researchers monetize various animal models and other research tools by working with several large companies to establish effective ways to streamline their review of our assets. As we highlight in this newsletter, licensing material assets can serve as an additional source of revenue for faculty and their laboratories.

We look forward to learning more about your research tools and are here to help answer any questions you may have.


Vincent Smeraglia,  
Executive Director, OTTBD 

Upcoming Events

BioNJ 20th Annual Dinner Meeting, Awards Program and Networking Event: Celebrating the Past...Inspiring the Future

February 7, 2013 

Hilton East Brunswick, NJ   

For more information: click here. 


Filling the gap between academic discovery and commercial licensing: The role of novel financing and development structures
Rob Pogulis, Principal, The Frankel Group
February 12, 2013; 5:00-6:30 PM
Biomedical Engineering Auditorium, Room 102
599 Taylor Road, Piscatway, NJ 08854

AUTM Annual Meeting
The AUTM 2013 Annual Meeting is a networking and professional development conference drawing from the global community of technology transfer professionals from academia and industry, venture investors and other intellectual property experts.
February 27 - March 2, 2013
San Antonio, TX
For more information: click here.

Fairleigh Dickinson University Madison, NJ

For more information: click here.

The Office of Technology Transfer and Business Development
October 2012 OTTBD
From top left clockwise: Christopher Izzo, Anya Nikiforova, Cherise Kent, Sue Dolci, Norell Hadzimichalis, Tania Litvin-Vechnyak, Laura Schepps, Vince Smeraglia, Elysa Goldberg (Not shown: Robert Bzdek, William Chiang, Lilly Cohen, Mona Daniels-Riley, Susan Rae)


1 World's Fair Drive; Suite 2100

Somerset, NJ 08873

P: 732-235-9350; F: 732-235-9358




Research tools at UMDNJ 

The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey represents the Nation's largest public academic health center. We are comprised of more than 1,500 biomedical researchers exploring basic, clinical, and translational research in areas ranging from cardiovascular and infectious disease to bioinformatics, drug discovery, and stem cell biology. Similar to the diversity of our research activities, our portfolio of material assets is equally as broad. Faculty are developing tools ranging from unique knockout mice, to antibodies for a multitude of indications, to reporter cell lines. Below, we have highlighted some of our recent research tools available for licensing.

Portfolio of reporter cell lines to detect cytokines and other biologically active ligands

There is a need for reliable and easy-to-use methods to detect the quantity of specific cytokines and other biologically active ligands. While there are antibody-based methods, these assays do not effectively distinguish between active versus inactive ligands and are subject to cross-reactivity issues. Furthermore, ligand-specific biological activity assays are time consuming, often unreliable, and require unique cell types, skills, and equipment. Through the use of chimeric receptors, Dr. Sergei Kotenko and colleagues have developed and validated a panel of hamster reporter cell lines that selectively and specifically respond to any given human cytokine from the IL-10 and IFN families. In collaboration with Dr. Raymond Birge, they are expanding the current portfolio to also include cell lines responsive to ligands that signal through homodimeric receptors (including GAS6, Protein S, and others). These cell lines are easily adaptable for high throughput screening and can be further modified to include a specific reporter gene such as luciferase, GFP, secreted alkaline phosphotase, or other makers.


Prolific portfolio of desirable knockout mouse models

Dr. John Pintar has developed a large and desirable portfolio of knockout mouse models (single, double, and triple knockouts) that can be used for research applications ranging from analgesia, obesity, oncology, and mental health to drug discovery. Many of these models have been published and UMDNJ receives frequent requests for their transfer. For details on models that may be available for licensing or other arrangements please click here.


Portfolio of HERV antibodies for diagnostic, therapeutic, and research uses:
Dr. Vincent 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 or as research tools. 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.

For more information on any of the above tools or to receive a more specific list of tools that fit your company's needs, please email

UMDNJ offers streamlined initiative to help faculty license research tools   

Often times research results in the development of valuable research tools including antibodies, cell lines, expression plasmids, animal models, and other reagents. While in many cases, it is not effective or even possible to obtain patent protection on these tools, this does not limit our ability to license these material assets to interested companies. In fact, according to the NIH research tool policy, recipients of federal funding should consider alternatives to patent protection in order to commercialize research tools especially in the case that they are fully developed and do not require additional funding to be utilized. Unlike cases where we might seek patent protection on a technology, publication of research results is not typically an obstacle in the licensing of research tools. In fact, in many situations publication is viewed positively as it helps to promote the existence and utility of important research tools.


In an effort to extract the most value from the useful biological materials and research tools at UMDNJ, the Office of Technology Transfer and Business Development has streamlined an initiative to help faculty license their research tools. We have coordinated the development of two research tool intake spreadsheets (see below) and licensing agreement language with various companies to allow for the most efficient review of our research tool portfolio. We have already executed multiple agreements and are currently negotaiting several more. According to James Hoberg, PhD, Senior Manager for Bioscience Licensing & Scientific Collaborations at EMD Millipore, "The foundation of the EMD Millipore antibody business is the close collaboration with our external academic partners. Many of our best and top-selling antibodies are licensed from universities because they represent the highest quality and most innovative products in our portfolio."    


How can faculty benefit?


As per the UMDNJ Patent Policy, licensing income received by the University will be shared with the inventors. Inventors may elect to either  receive their share of the revenue personally or deposited to their research account. The rest of the revenue is distributed to the Inventor's school, department, and the University Patent Fund.


For more information on the UMDNJ Patent Policy: click here. 


What should faculty do?


In collaboration with multiple companies, we have developed two intake forms to help expedite the review of faculty materials. UMDNJ faculty and staff are invited to complete these forms and submit via email to


1. Antibody and research tool intake form 

2. Animal model intake form 


For additional information on this program contact:

Norell Hadzimichalis, Ph.D.

732-235-5319 or