MitoSciences gains access to University of Oregon’s monoclonal antibody portfolio

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EUGENE, Ore.—Less than one week after announcing it secured a NorthAmerica distribution deal with Invitrogen, MitoSciences Inc. announcedit has secured an exclusive commercial license to a suite ofbiotechnology innovations held by the University of Oregon (UO). At thecore of the license is a portfolio of monoclonal antibodies that havebeen developed at the university as a result of the research ofMitoSciences co-founders Roderick Capaldi and Michael Marusich.

Under the terms of the agreement UO will receive royalties onpatent-related sales of products as well as quarterly fixed paymentsfrom MitoSciences for 10 years in the total of $4.6 million.

The result of the license is that MitoSciences, a technology spin outfrom UO in 2006 which has had continuing research and production tieswith the university, will now directly control all research anddevelopment.

"This agreement provides MitoSciences with critical access to essentialtechnology," says Jean-Paul "John" Audette, company president. "[This]allows MitoSciences to maintain our focus on developing theindustry-leading mitochondrial research tools for which we are known,and which we hope will have tremendous benefits for the diagnosis andtreatment of diseases with metabolic etiologies."

As a result of the transfer agreement, Audette says, the monoclonalantibody facility at UO and headed by Marusich will shut down andMitoScience will build a duplicate capacity at its Riverfront ResearchPark headquarters. In the past, MitoSciences has relied on the UOfacility for the production of some of the company's monoclonalantibodies. Now, that capability along with four UO staff members, willtransfer to MitoSciences and bring the production under one roof.

In addition to the technology transfer and taking on former UO staff,the university transferred to MitoSciences several commercialdistribution agreements through which UO sold its antibodies to lifescience researchers.

"MitoSciences is a great example of how scientific research at theUniversity of Oregon can spin out innovative new ventures thatcontribute to our community," says Rich Linton, UO's VP for research. 

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