1 in 3 U-M inventions & patents came from UMHS, new data show

New discoveries and inventions made at the Medical School accounted for one-third of all those made at the entire University of Michigan in the fiscal year that ended June 30, according to new data released this week.

Each of these “technology transfer” activities helps bring U-M research that much closer to the marketplace, and to helping patients and others.

In fiscal year 2012, Medical School researchers filed 117 reports of new inventions with the U-M Office of Technology Transfer, 32 percent of those filed across the entire university.

In that same year, 47 of the patents that the University filed for came from Medical School discoveries – 32 percent of the total. And 57 of the license or option agreements that the University signed with private companies — to allow those companies to develop U-M-generated technologies into products — were related to Medical School discoveries. That’s nearly half the total.

In addition, three new startup companies grew out of Medical School Research in fiscal 2012,. In all, 23 startup companies have grown out of the Medical School in the last seven years.

Last year, the university recorded $13.8 million in tech transfer revenues, which include royalties and equity returns. A total of $11 million of those revenues were related to Medical School discoveries licensed to industry in the past. These revenues are reinvested in research and education.

U-M is one of the top universities for technology transfer in the country. Besides the effort to translate U-M research findings from “bench to bedside”, there are many other ways the Medical School engages with industry.

The Business Development office in the Medical School’s Office of Research fosters engagement with industry and entrepreneurial activity by faculty. Among its successes: the launch of Paradigm, a nonprofit joint venture for personalized medicine based on patients’ DNA profiles.

About 9.5% percent of Medical School research funding comes from industry. And every year, more than 90 new clinical trials sponsored by industry launch at UMHS, giving patients access to the latest innovations and providing independent testing of future products.

In addition, a $20M endowment built by the Coulter Foundation, the Medical School and the College of Engineering ensures that new biomedical technologies get crucial translational research funding to help make the leap from the minds of our engineers & physicians to the private sector.

Recent U-M inventions, startups and their creators will be highlighted at the annual Celebrate Invention event tonight, Oct. 18 from 3-6 p.m. at the Michigan League ballroom. Admission is free, but registration is required at www.techtransfer.umich.edu.

More information about U-M tech transfer activity can be found here.

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