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CTL eNewsletter: December 2013
On October 24, 2013, CCTEC held its seventh annual Cornell Technology Venture Forum (CTVF). The day-long event featured oral and poster presentations on emerging Cornell technologies and new businesses founded on licensed Cornell technologies. Three new Cornell startups, Androvia, Inc., Immunovent, and Suntomics, LLC., pitched their new businesses to an audience of potential investors, industry representatives, and Cornell community leaders.
Oral presentations made by Cornell inventors included a way to design objects by interactive evolution driven by eye-tracking; a generic programmable tag; a sonic distressing vest; synthetic lubricants to prevent and treat joint conditions; tethered enzyme technology for brain injuries and strokes; and TRAIL-coated leukocytes that kill cancer cells in the bloodstream. An additional 20 Cornell technologies were presented on posters throughout the event. These presentations highlighted Cornell innovations in areas of plant varieties, medical diagnostics, information technology, and new materials.
Immediately following CTVF, the 2013 Technology Innovations Gala Reception was held to recognize Cornell faculty innovators whose research results have been licensed to industry partners for commercial development in the last two years. Guests included faculty innovators, trustees, industry representatives, community leaders, and senior administrators from Cornell.
Jan Nyrop, Associate Dean for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, presented the 2013 Ezra Technology Innovator Award posthumously to Dr. Ray Wu, and it was accepted by Christina Wu, Ray's surviving spouse. The award recognizes an outstanding Cornell innovator whose inventions have significant impact on society. During his long research career at Cornell, Dr. Wu generated many inventions that have great societal impact. His technology innovations contribute significantly to modern day molecular biology, and also help to address pressing agricultural challenges in food production and supply.
The next Technology Innovations Gala will be held in October of 2015 to celebrate the continued success and dedication of Cornell innovators.
VaxLogic, LLC has entered into a license agreement with Cornell University to develop and commercialize new vaccines to combat addictions, including nicotine and other drugs. Dr. Ronald Crystal, professor and chairman of the Department of Genetic medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College and colleagues, developed the vaccine platforms that VaxLogic will use to commercialize these vaccines.
Currently, an obstacle in creating an effective vaccine involving addictive drugs was the small size of the addictive drug molecule that enables the molecules to evade the body's immune system. The technology developed by Dr. Crystal and his associates addresses this challenge by making the small drug molecules more recognizable to the immune system. In response, the immune system produces neutralizing antibodies to stop addictive chemicals from reaching the brain.
This is achieved by linking the small addictive drug molecule to the surface of a modified adenovirus. In earlier work, Dr. Crystal identified certain modified adenoviruses that are particularly potent in activating the immune system. By linking the small addictive molecule to these modified viruses, the conjugates will generate high titers of antibodies against the addictive drug molecule to treat the addiction.
VaxLogic,LLC has also entered into a nonexclusive license agreement with Agenus Inc. for the use of QS-21 Stimulon adjuvant in the development of select addiction, allergy and respiratory disease vaccine candidates. These vaccine candidates are in preclinical testing and being developed by VaxLogic, LLC in collaboration with Cornell University. This addition allows VaxLogic, LLC to contemplate the expansion of possible vaccines to: poison ivy, peanut allergy, insect allergy, shellfish allergy, allergic rhinitis, and allergic asthma.
VaxLogic, LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of PharmLogic LLC, and is led by David Corvese.
Suntomics Inc. focuses on mobile concentrated solar power applications using portable and steerable reflector modules, the Suntomics Innovation Solar Tiles™ (STile™), which deliver high power flux (30-50X Sun) by tracking the sun and focusing it on a desired spot for processes requiring low-cost heat and light, possibly at high temperatures. STile™ is different from conventional photovoltaic (PV) systems in that it allows the end user to more efficiently and effectively exploit the sun's limitless energy with self-powered and automated sun-tracking and solar energy-concentrating capabilities. STile™ enables heat generation for industrial processes (e.g. steam generation in boilers or food dehydration), indoor lighting, water desalination and heating, soil decontamination, thermal storage, and solar cooking to meet end-user's needs, making it extremely versatile and adaptable to market opportunities and demands.
STile™ is a modular, pizza-box sized, low-cost, wirelessly controlled, sun-tracking mirror array that can be installed practically anywhere one can install a ceramic tile or a PV module. This technology, was invented by Amit Lal, professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Cornell University, and Serhan Ardanuc, postdoctoral research associate in the same department. It is licensed to Suntomics. Suntomics has developed prototypes that are being further developed for many applications that require reduced energy cost, and a clean energy source simultaneously.
Suntomics initially will target sustainable agriculture by helping to eliminate carcinogenic and environmentally hazardous chemical pesticides used for pre-plant soil treatment in production of high-value crops such as strawberry, lettuce, and tomato. Suntomics will provide STile™ installed trucks and trailers to farmland and scan the concentrated solar beam over the field to perform concentrated solar soil solarization (CS3) at high temperatures sufficient to generate steam locally. As CS3 relies on freely available solar energy, it is an attractive green alternative to chemical fumigation at a significantly reduced cost. This environmentally-friendly approach will help farmers to achieve high yield, and to also provide healthier food for consumers.
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