UCLA Launches New Company to Commercialize Patents and Inventions

UCLA announced the Board of Directors for a new company: Westwood Technology Transfer (WTT), a not-for-profit focused on better protecting and optimizing the discoveries and inventions developed through campus research that attracts about $1 billion in funding each year.

Unprecedented within the University of California, establishing the 501(c)(3) company extends the efforts of UCLA’s Office of Intellectual Property and Industry Sponsored Research (OIP-ISR), which manages a portfolio of nearly 2,000 inventions, pursues patents and licensing agreements, helps faculty obtain research funding and materials through external collaborations, and assists UCLA faculty startups. After a rigorous selection process that considered more than 200 candidates, UCLA Chancellor Gene D. Block selected a Board composed of experienced executives from a range of industries, including biopharmaceuticals, engineering and technology; finance, private equity, and venture capital, as well as distinguished UCLA faculty.

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University of California Publishes Annual Report: UCLA #1 in Startups Launched

In FY 2013, University of California (UC) researchers submitted 1,727 new inventions – an average of nearly 5 a day, 365 days a year – bringing UC’s total portfolio to more than 11,500 inventions; entered into 427 new IP licensing agreements providing industry access to UC inventions; and launched 71 new startup companies.

UCLA ranked highest among the UC campuses in number of startups launched, and other technology transfer metrics featured in the FY 13 report.

VIEW FULL REPORT [PDF]

UCLA School of Law Establishes Student Entrepreneurship Competition

The competition, which includes a $100,000 prize, is the first of its kind sponsored by a top American law school.

From UCLA:

UCLA School of Law has established the Lowell Milken Institute-Sandler Prize for New Entrepreneurs (“LMI-Sandler Prize”), an entrepreneurship competition designed to recognize student innovation and leadership and support the real-world launch of promising new business ventures. The competition, which includes a $100,000 prize, is the first of its kind sponsored by a top American law school. It was established through gifts totaling more than $500,000 from the Lowell Milken Family Foundation and the Richard and Ellen Sandler Family Foundation.

“The LMI-Sandler Prize is a completely new way to reward law student achievement and promote the entrepreneurial ambitions of UCLA Law students and recent graduates,” UCLA School of Law Dean Rachel F. Moran said. “The competition will provide students with an opportunity to put the principles of entrepreneurship into practice and to use their law school education as a path to careers marked by fresh perspectives and bold initiatives…”

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Seeking $115 Million, Santa Monica-based Biotech, Kite Pharma, Files for IPO

Kite Pharma is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of novel cancer immunotherapy products

From Kite Pharma:

“Kite Pharma, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing engineered autologous T cell therapy (eACT™) products for the treatment of cancer, today announced that it has filed a registration statement on Form S-1 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) relating to a proposed initial public offering of shares of its common stock. All shares of common stock to be sold in the offering will be offered by Kite. The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the offering have not yet been determined.

Jefferies LLC, Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC and Cowen and Company, LLC are acting as joint book-running managers for the offering. Stifel is acting as co-manager…”

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Kite Pharma, Inc. [web]

UCLA Startup, ImaginAb, Closes $21 Million Series B Financing

UCLA brainchild ImaginAb has hauled in another $21 million in venture cash to advance its antibody-re-engineering technology

From FierceBiotech:

“UCLA brainchild ImaginAb has hauled in another $21 million in venture cash to advance its antibody-re-engineering technology, a biotech approach to imaging that the company believes will help personalize treatments for cancer and immune disease.

Mérieux Développement, the investment arm of French life sciences outfit bioMérieux, led the latest round, joined by repeat investors Novartis ($NVS), Cycad Group and Nextech Invest. Each is betting ImaginAb’s novel take on imaging agents will help investigators better understand disease and match patients to their ideal therapies…”

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About ImaginAb [web]

Santa Monica-Based Biotech, Kite Pharma, Raises $50M in New Financing

Proceeds to Support Advancement of Clinical Programs in Cancer Immunotherapy

From Kite Pharma:

Kite Pharma, Inc. (Kite), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing engineered autologous T cell therapy (eACT™) products for the treatment of cancer, today announced the completion of a $50 million mezzanine private financing of convertible notes. Participants in the transaction included a syndicate of healthcare-dedicated investors, many of which are based in the United States and are first-time investors in Kite. Additional terms of the financing were not disclosed.

Kite expects to use proceeds of the financing to advance its programs developing novel cancer immunotherapy products. Kite’s lead investigational therapy is an autologous eACT™ product that targets CD19 expression on B cell malignancies, including diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL). Additional programs will target a number of both hematological malignancies and solid tumors…

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FierceBiotech – Immuno-oncology specialist Kite adds $50M in new financing [web]
Kite Pharma [web]

LA Biotech, C3 Jian, Raises $60M Series D Financing

C3 Jian is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing and commercializing novel products to diagnose, treat and prevent diseases related to the human microbiome, with an initial focus on improving oral health.

From C3 Jian:

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — C3 Jian, Inc., a private company focused on developing proprietary drugs with an initial focus on improving oral healthcare, announced today the close of its Series D financing raising total proceeds of $60.5 million.

Funds from the financing will be used to support continued clinical development of the Company’s lead product, referred to as C16G2, a proprietary peptide-based antimicrobial drug specifically targeting Streptococcus mutans, a bacterium responsible for dental caries or tooth decay. Under a U.S. FDA Investigational New Drug Application, the Company recently began a Phase 2 Clinical Trial to study C16G2 formulated as a mouth rinse as well as a gel for both dental tray and tooth brush applications. Proceeds received will also help advance development of a second peptide drug candidate that has both teeth remineralization, as well as hair/nail growth properties. In addition, the Company plans to build a pipeline of additional innovative compounds using its proprietary STAMP (Specifically Targeted Antimicrobial Peptide) technology platform. STAMPs have the potential to alter human microbiomes by targeting and eliminating a specific bacterium versus broad spectrum antibiotics. The Company expects to explore development of STAMPs for medical uses in addition to oral healthcare…

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Watch video about the technology [web]