UCLA Scientists Take Fight Against Prostate Cancer from the Lab to the Marketplace

Few, if any, research programs at UCLA have led to as many spin-off and commercial licenses…

From UCLA Today:

“The awarding of $11.6 million in federal funding from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to enable a multidisciplinary group of UCLA scientists to continue their important prostate cancer research is just the latest in a string of “big hits” for the team.

“To get something like this funded now is really something,” said Dr. Jean deKernion, professor emeritus who pioneered prostate cancer research at UCLA two decades ago and was one of the first principal investigators when UCLA’s Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) site in prostate cancer started in 2001.

This award marks the third round of NCI funding for the SPORE group, which is comprised of UCLA scientists, clinicians, oncologists, radiologists, pathologists and imaging specialists. Together, they’ve turned UCLA into one of the nation’s preeminent research engines for advances in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer and made a life-saving difference in the lives of countless patients and their families.

“This renewal of the UCLA prostate SPORE is indicative of the world-class research we have on this campus,” said Dr. James Economou, UCLA vice chancellor for research and professor of microbiology, immunology and molecular genetics; molecular and medical pharmacology; and surgical oncology…”

Agensys [web]
Aragon Pharmaceuticals [web]
UCLA SPORE in Prostate Cancer [web]
Xtandi [web]
ImaginAB [web]


March 16, 2013: The U.S. Transitions To A ‘First-Inventor-To-File’ Patent System

Under first-to-file, an inventor who does not take prompt action to protect his or her invention faces a higher risk that a later inventor will end up holding the associated U.S. patent rights.

From Forbes:

“The United States has long had a “first-to-invent” patent system in which the date of invention could trump the date of filing a patent application in determining patent rights. However, that is set to change due to the America Invents Act (AIA), a sweeping patent reform bill signed into law by President Obama in September 2011.

For patent applications with an effective filing date of March 16, 2013 or later, the United States shifts to what is often – and only partially accurately – called a “first-inventor-to-file” or “first-to-file” system. The reality is more complex than those designations imply, as patent rights in the United States under the first-to-file system will depend on the interplay between the dates of filing and of any pre-filing disclosures of the invention…”


First Annual FLoW Regional Clean Energy Awards

First Look West (FLoW) is hosting LA’s first celebration of Clean Energy Innovation in our Universities with a focus on Western States and Territories.

Event Details

May 1, 2012

The Caltech Athenaeum
551 s. Hill Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91106

Registration (Discount) [web]

Innovation starts with fearless and creative thinking! Join FLoW at the inaugural First Look West (FLoW) Clean Energy Challenge at Caltech, where we will celebrate 40 of the best-in class student teams who show outstanding entrepreneurial talent in turning technologies into real companies. These graduate teams from nine states are tackling big problems in clean energy with government-backed innovations. See the six finalist teams present their new ideas for the future, and take home $200,000 in prize money. Meet the inventors! Network with investors as well as the top business leaders, academics and students in Southern California cleantech.

About FLoW [web]

UPDATE: Winners announced here [web]

The National Science Foundation Innovation Corps – What America Does Best

The National Science Foundation Innovation Corps combines the best of what the U.S. government, American researchers in academia and risk capital can do together.

From Steve Blank:

“We ran the first National Science Foundation Innovation Corps class October to December 2011.

63 scientists and engineers in 21 teams made ~2,000 customer calls in 10 weeks, turning laboratory ideas into formidable startups. 19 of the 21 teams are moving forward in commercializing their technology.

Watching the final presentations it was clear that the results were way past our initial expectations (comments from mentors as well as pre- and post-class survey data suggested that most of the teams learned more in two months than others had in two years.) So much so that the NSF decided to scale the Innovation Corps program.

In 2012 the NSF will put 150 teams of the best scientists in the U.S. through the Lean Launchpad class. And to help teach these many teams, the NSF will recruit other universities that have engineering entrepreneurship programs to become part of the Innovation Corps network…”

National Science Foundation (NSF) i-Corps [web]

Untangling The Real Meaning Of “First-To-File” Patents

The first-to-file provision will apply to patent applications with an effective filing date of March 16, 2013, or later.

From FastCompany:

“The most widely discussed feature of the American Invents Act (AIA) is the impending replacement of the longstanding “first-to-invent” system with what is commonly–and somewhat inaccurately–called a “first-to-file” system. The first-to-file provision will apply to patent applications with an effective filing date of March 16, 2013, or later. In the fast-moving world of technology companies, that might seem like a lifetime in the future.

But there are at least three very good reasons to start planning for this change now.

First, the new first-to-file system will fundamentally alter the role of public “disclosures” in preserving the patentability of an invention. Disclosures can include presentations and demonstrations at trade shows, official postings on company websites, and even unauthorized postings by company employees on social networking sites. For all but the smallest companies, it will take significant time to ensure that everyone who communicates with the outside world about company technology–including executives, managers, marketers, developers, and salespeople–is fully aware of the new landscape regarding disclosures.

Second, a company can use the time between now and March 16, 2013, to file patent applications that will be pending during the transition from first-to-invent to first-to-file. As I’ll discuss in a later post, that presents the opportunity to create some very interesting and potentially valuable options with respect to downstream patent applications.

Third, the first-to-file system will create some new exposures with respect to intellectual property (IP) security. In a future post, I’ll discuss the nature of these exposures and some steps that companies can take to help reduce the risk of becoming victims of IP theft…”

USPTO America Invents Act Implementation [web]

The National Science Foundation Innovation Corps – Class 2: The Business Model Canvas

Over the last [several] months the U.S. government has been running one of the most audacious experiments in entrepreneurship since World War II… They launched an incubator for the top scientists and engineers in the U.S.

From Steve Blank:

“The Lean LaunchPad class for the National Science Foundation Innovation Corps is a new model of teaching startup entrepreneurship. This post is part two. Part one is here. Syllabus here.

The 21 NSF teams had been out of the classroom for just 15 hours as they filed back in with their business model canvas presentations. Their assignment appeared (to them) to be deceptively simple:
Write down their initial hypotheses for the 9 components of their company’s business model (who are the customers? what’s the product? what distribution channel? etc.)

  • Come up with ways to test each of the 9 business model canvas hypotheses
  • Decide what constitutes a pass/fail signal for the test. At what point would you say that your hypotheses wasn’t even close to correct?
  • Consider if their business worth pursuing? (Give us an estimate of market size)
  • Start their team’s blog/wiki/journal to record their progress during for the class

NSF I-Corps [web]

New NSF Report Outlines Trends in U.S. Global Competitiveness in Science and Technology

NSF launched a number of new initiatives to better position the United States in global Science & Technology.

From NSF:

The United States remains the global leader in supporting science and technology (S&T) research and development, but only by a slim margin that could soon be overtaken by rapidly increasing Asian investments in knowledge-intensive economies. So suggest trends released in a new report by the National Science Board (NSB), the policymaking body for the National Science Foundation (NSF), on the overall status of the science, engineering and technology workforce, education efforts and economic activity in the United States and abroad.

“This information clearly shows we must re-examine long-held assumptions about the global dominance of the American science and technology enterprise,” said NSF Director Subra Suresh of the findings in the Science and Engineering Indicators 2012 released today. “And we must take seriously new strategies for education, workforce development and innovation in order for the United States to retain its international leadership position,” he said.

Suresh oversees NSF’s $7 billion dollar budget, which is awarded to the federal agency by Congress and funds basic research and education across all fields of science and engineering, including some 15 percent of federally supported basic research conducted at America’s colleges and universities…

Report: Science and Engineering Indicators 2012 [web]