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.

Read Full Press Release [web]


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.


UCLA Startup, Bruin Biometrics, Raises $10 Million Round

Funds will be deployed to market developed products, complete clinical trials and continue R&D on the product pipeline.

From BusinessWire:

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Bruin Biometrics, LLC (“BBI”), a medical device company with two biometric sensing products ready for market in Europe and the United States, announced it has closed a $10 million round of funding which was oversubscribed by almost $2.7 million. The funds will be deployed to market the developed products, complete clinical trials and continue R&D on the product pipeline.

“Investors are responding to this important opportunity ideally timed to solve critical issues that cost healthcare systems globally billions of dollars in expensive, preventable diagnostics and treatments. BBI’s biometric scanning technology is proven and ready to improve patient care simply and inexpensively,” said BBI’s Chief Executive Officer Martin Burns. “Investors, physicians and hospitals understand these sensors detect a number of key health conditions. They soon will become another essential tool used by nurses and other healthcare workers to check a patient’s vitals, just as the blood pressure cuff is used today…”


Kite Pharma Completes $35 Million Series A Preferred Stock Financing

Westwood-based Kite Pharma is engaged in the development of novel cancer immunotherapeutic products.

From FierceBiotech:

“Los Angeles, CA (May 15, 2013) — Kite Pharma Inc. (Kite), a clinical stage biotechnology company focused on developing innovative targeted immunotherapies for cancer, today announced that it has closed a $20 million private placement of shares of its Series A Preferred Stock. In addition to the $20 million in new funds, Kite converted $15 million in outstanding promissory notes into shares of Series A Preferred Stock. Joined by a new investor, Alta Partners, all existing major investors participated in the financing, including Kite’s Founder and Executive Chairman, Arie Belldegrun, M.D., David Bonderman, Pontifax Ltd., Commercial Street Capital, and Michael Milken.

Kite is engaged in the development of novel cancer immunotherapeutic products with a focus on engineered autologous T cell therapy (eACT), designed to restore a patient’s immune system by recognizing and eradicating tumors. In partnership with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Surgery Branch under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA), Kite is advancing a pipeline of proprietary eACT product candidates directed at a wide range of cancer indications. These novel personalized and targeted immunotherapies, which capitalize on the selectivity and potency of immune cells, are aimed at providing significant and durable clinical benefit regardless of tumor origin, disease stage, and prior treatments…”

Kite Pharma [web]