Biodesign’s investment framework is referred to as a translation or innovation engine.
Our research portfolio ranges from early stage fundamental or exploratory research, where the eventual application is uncertain, to mature projects that are on the threshold of translation to clinical trials, development by industrial partners or launch as Biodesign spin-out companies. Biodesign's investment framework focuses on the development and commercialization of Biodesign’s research, and management of the investment in technology translation. It also provides a mechanism for collaborations that result in commercial products, clinical practices and agency program outcomes.
Over the 30 years since the Bayh-Dole Act, universities have engaged in the technology transfer and commercialization process by employing various methodologies that were only marginally successful. Impediments to the progress of promising university discoveries toward translation and ultimate commercialization can be traced to three major issues:
- Lack of funding and resources to support early stage technology development;
- Low efficiency and poor track record for success in development and commercialization of novel technologies; and
- Onerous IP licensing terms that unnecessarily burn precious cash and encumber future revenues with royalty payments.
The lack of available funding has caused promising technologies to languish, because there are often insufficient resources to address the critical needs and barriers to the translation and commercialization of a technology. Consider the following data from the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) that is impacting early stage investment:
- In 2008, the amount of capital raised by biotechnology companies across the U.S. fell 55 percent relative to 2007;
- There were no funds raised by U.S. biotech firms through Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) from January 2008 through August 2009, as compared with 41 companies raising $1.9 billion in 2007 and 32 companies raising $1.7 billion in 2006;
- Presently, 38 percent of public biotech companies have less than one year’s cash on-hand, and 26 percent have under 6 months’ cash.
The Biodesign Institute has developed several vehicles to cross this “valley of death” by adding value to companies to overcome the funding gap between discovery and delivery. Biodesign, in conjunction with Skysong Innovations (SI), is taking a proactive approach to discovering the match between Biodesign’s research output and important commercial products and services. Our strategy engages a large number of external experts familiar with solving important problems through commercialization. It also engages Biodesign’s researchers with these experts to discover which technology platforms have promise as commercial products. The goal is to drive rapid performance improvement, resulting in more commercial product options for each of Biodesign’s research outcomes. The objective is to significantly increase the number of invention disclosures and commercialization outcomes from Biodesign’s research.
SI's technology licensing process is designed to achieve two goals:
- Offering a straightforward legal mechanism for companies to access ASU inventions.
- Facilitating on-going partnerships for future product commercialization.
SI shares in the development risk by requiring an initial license fee and a royalty that is received only after a product or process is being sold or otherwise used.
Please review SI's technology portfolio to view our available inventions. When you find one you are interested in, please let us know. If you do not find what you are looking for, please feel free to call us to see if there are any pending technologies in your field of interest.
Arizona Bioscience Community
A broad coalition of elected, civic and community leaders have recognized the importance of attracting leading-edge research to Arizona as an engine for new economic development and the development and retention of a highly skilled workforce. Biodesign actively supports these efforts through its involvement with regional economic development organizations including:
- Arizona BioIndustry Association (AZBio). Biodesign is a participating member of this trade association which promotes the development of a robust bioscience industry in Arizona. Our Executive Director serves on AZBio’s board of directors, and Biodesign has been a major supporter of AZBio events.
- Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC). Biodesign provides active support to this regional economic development organization on many fronts. Biodesign mentored managers from GPEC on the regional research capabilities and bioscience industry issues. Biodesign has also actively participated in GPEC’s efforts to recruit new companies to Arizona by conducting tours and research review meetings at the Institute. Successfully recruited bioscience companies include: Covance, InNexus, Abraxis and Insys.
- Arizona Bioscience Roadmap. Biodesign is an active participant in this strategic planning and coordination effort sponsored by the Flinn Foundation in collaboration with the Battelle Institute. Biodesign administrators and researchers serve on the steering committee and several of the research sub-committees to advance bioscience areas of strategic interest to Arizona.