The Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) has signed a licensing agreement with the company Janus Developments of a patent for an immunomodulatory product for treating immune diseases such as autoimmune diseases, sepsis, hypersensitivity disorders (including, allergic reactions) or post-transplant rejection. The patent has been developed by the researcher of the Human Molecular Genetics group Josep Maria Aran and his team.
The invention relates to a concrete form of C4BP protein (C4b-binding protein), which is able to inhibit other proteins in the complement system, a major component of the innate immune response.
Many years will be needed before the product developed by Dr. Aran can be applied in humans. It will require additional preclinical studies and clinical trials in humans. In this sense, the signing of the license agreement is an important step to complete these studies and to become in the future a pharmaceutical product.
The head of the Technology Transfer Office (TTO) at IDIBELL, Montse Ballarín, highlights the fact that “the license products developed at our institution reflects the IDIBELL strategy as a public research centre, to bring our ideas and inventions to market.”
Ballarín stresses that the transfer of a technology or a product to industry is not an easy process. “You have to offer a good product that meets a market need, to solve an unsolved problem, a technically and economically feasible production, a will to buy by the health system and a long list of conditions that are overcome before to achieve the interest of the company.” Finally, “there is a good bargain to adequately protect the interests of inventors and the institution”, explains the OTRI responsible.
Janus Developments is a company dedicated to biomedical knowledge transfer to the market. Currently develop eleven projects based on patents originated at several universities and research centres. In addition, Janus timely collaborates in defining and implementing various companies and foundations. Janus Developments supports IDIBELL in transfer activities, from identifying technologies to the introduction to market.
The license signed with Janus is the first patent that IDIBELL, through its TTO, has been transferred to a company outside the campus (previously had managed licensing contracts with spin-offs arising from the institution).
The transferred patent to Janus has been possible thanks to the support of the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitivity, the Instituto de Salud Carlos III and european regional development funds (ERDF).
Also recently it has been transferred a diagnostic technology and a patent to a multinational pharmaceutical company. At this time, IDIBELL is on track to close two licensing agreements over two patents developed by researchers at the centre.