Below you can find an overview of the academic organizations traveling together with FlandersBio and Flanders Investment & Trade to San Diego for the BIO International Convention, the largest global event for the biotech industry (June 23-26, 2014).
The academic organizations attending the BIO Convention – UGent, University of Antwerp, VIB, KU Leuven, CD3 and IMEC – will be taking along their files on new inventions and technologies. They employ technology transfer managers who can identify research that is ready for the next step and, for example, look for partners with the expertise to start expensive clinical trials. Pharmaceutical partners are often ideal, as they have considerable experience with clinical trials as well as the money to pay for them.
One of the things UGent will be taking to San Diego is a file on the research of Prof. Martine De Vos and her team. The latter discovered that patients with Crohn disease (a serious inflammatory bowel disease) can perhaps be helped with a new treatment that results in reduced inflammation. The bowel lesions of patients show increased concentrations of metallothionein protein. The more severe the illness, the higher the concentration. The Ghent research team was able to significantly reduce inflammation in mice by treating them with antibodies against metallothionein protein. At BIO, UGent will be looking for a partner able to develop the human antibodies and, following further preclinical studies, start up the expensive clinical trials.
CD3 or the Centre for Drug Design and Discovery is a platform for technology transfer and an investment fund that applies itself to the discovery and development of innovative drugs, based on innovative academic research. CD3 brings together the expertise and financing needed to start up a spin-off or an alliance with a pharmaceutical partner. CD3 was set up at the end of 2006 by KU Leuven R&D and the European Investment Fund (EIF).