Category: News


Johns Hopkins in Top 10 of Universities Granted U.S.…

Johns Hopkins in Top 10 of Universities Granted U.S. Utility Patents for Third Consecutive Year

The Johns Hopkins University received the seventh most U.S. utility patents among universities worldwide in 2016, according to a report released on June 6 by the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) and Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO). Utility patents are issued to protect inventions—including new processes, machines, manufactured products and compositions of matter—and useful improvements to already existing products.

Based on data from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the report showed that The Johns Hopkins University had 167 U.S. utility patents granted in 2016, up from 143 the previous year. This marks the third consecutive year that Johns Hopkins has placed in the top 10 and is the university’s highest ranking in the report’s five-year history.

“One of the primary goals of The Johns Hopkins University is to bring the benefits of discovery to the world,” says Christy Wyskiel, head of Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures (JHTV) and senior advisor to the President of The Johns Hopkins University. “The extraordinary researchers, faculty members and students at Johns Hopkins take pride in translating innovation into products that provide tomorrow’s solutions to today’s biggest challenges.”

The NAI and IPO compile its rankings by calculating the number of utility patents granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office which list a university as the first assignee. Since the first report in 2013, The Johns Hopkins University has seen its number of granted U.S. utility patents grow. In 2012, the university ranked 15th with 79 granted utility patents but slipped to 20th the following year with 82 granted utility patents. In 2014, Johns Hopkins cracked the top 10 for the first time when it ranked eighth with 140 granted utility patents. The following year, Johns Hopkins again ranked eighth with 143 granted utility patents.

“The continued increase in granted utility patents showcases Johns Hopkins’ commitment to identifying, evaluating and protecting the discoveries of our faculty, staff and students,” says Neil Veloso, JHTV’s executive director of technology transfer. “Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures is equally committed to disseminating this intellectual property through licenses to university startups and established companies.”

The full report of the Top 100 Worldwide Universities Granted U.S. Utility Patents in 2016 can be found here.

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Johns Hopkins and Eisai Extend Drug Discovery Collaboration with…

Johns Hopkins and Eisai Extend Drug Discovery Collaboration with New Licensing Agreement

The Johns Hopkins University and Eisai Inc., the U.S. pharmaceutical subsidiary of Tokyo, Japan-based Eisai Co., Ltd., announced on Wednesday, May 31 that they have extended their drug discovery collaboration through an exclusive licensing agreement. The agreement is based upon compounds identified from collaborative research between Eisai’s Andover innovative Medicines (AiM) Institute in Andover, Mass., and the Johns Hopkins Drug Discovery Program, which was designed to translate new target discoveries into novel small molecule compounds for the development of neurology and oncology medicines.

“Our initial goal of working with Eisai to identify compounds acting at specific targets and advance the chemistry towards potential clinical candidates has been a success,” said Barbara Slusher, Ph.D., MAS, professor of neurology, neuroscience, psychiatry, medicine and oncology at Johns Hopkins and the director of Johns Hopkins Drug Discovery. “We are excited to announce the first out-licensing of a project that holds significant promise and potential to advance the treatment of patients with cancer.”

Eisai has licensed the intellectual property for further research, development and commercialization at its AiM Institute. Under the agreement, Johns Hopkins will receive an upfront payment of $500,000 for license consideration, as well as future milestones and royalties upon successful commercialization of a product based on these compounds. In recognition of the ongoing success of the collaboration, a further $500,000 will be provided by Eisai to support future Johns Hopkins Drug Discovery research.

“We are excited to continue our work with Professor Slusher and her drug discovery team at Johns Hopkins,” said Takashi Owa, Ph.D., chief clinical officer and chief medical officer of Eisai’s Oncology Business Group. “This collaboration continues to build momentum, and we ultimately hope to move it forward so it has a real benefit for cancer patients.”

In 2011, Johns Hopkins and Eisai formalized the initial joint drug discovery collaboration. Under the terms of that agreement, Johns Hopkins Drug Discovery, led by Slusher, provided Eisai with novel therapeutic targets. For the targets of interest, screening assays were developed and validated by the Johns Hopkins Drug Discovery team, and then transferred to Eisai, which utilized the Johns Hopkins assay to conduct high-throughput screening of its proprietary compound library collection to identify compounds that interact with the targets. Utilizing hybrid industry-academic drug discovery teams, the newly identified screening compounds were then subject to extensive structure-activity relationship studies and characterization in preclinical models to identify lead compounds for potential clinical development.

“This agreement continues the longstanding relationship between Eisai and Johns Hopkins to develop technologies that can advance human health,” said Neil Veloso, executive director of Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures. “Successful collaborations like this reflect well on Johns Hopkins as the research partner of choice.”

The Johns Hopkins Drug Discovery Program consists of a multidisciplinary team of scientists with industrial experience and core expertise in drug discovery research, including medicinal chemistry, screening assay development, drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics and animal pharmacology/toxicology.

For more Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures news and feature stories, click here.


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