Licence2Market Finalists 2016

Trinity College Dublin - Graphene Licences to Thomas Swan

A number of licence agreements were executed between Trinity College Dublin and Thomas Swan in 2014 and 2015 which relate to graphene and other two-dimensional (2D) material. Thomas Swan, a UK-based fine chemical manufacturing company, has since launched both Graphene and Boron Nitride products on the market. These products are now recognised globally as the best in class materials and were featured as the cover story of Chemical and Engineering News under the headline “Graphene Global Race to Market”.  The intellectual property that was licensed to Thomas Swan was developed during a collaborative research project between the company and a team led by Professor Jonathan Coleman at Trinity College. Targeted at the market requirement for large volume, single atom thick graphene sheets of materials for a wide array of high value end products, the research resulted in two associated process patents which Trinity has made available to Thomas Swan through an exclusive licence to graphene production and a non-exclusive licence to Transition Metal Dichalcogenides (TMDs). This Trinity technology has also resulted in a separate, non-exclusive license to a multi-national company and growing interest from industry for additional research collaborations in relation to 2D materials. Trinity’s Technology Transfer Office was heavily involved in this process from the initial expression of interest to the contract negotiations and management of the commercialisation and patenting strategy for the project outputs. 

University College Cork - Probiotic Strain Licence to Alimentary Health Ltd

In 2002 UCC licensed the patent to the strain Bifidobacteria Infantis as part of the establishment of Alimentary Health Limited (AHL).  The intellectual property and the strain were developed in the laboratories of Professor Fergus Shanahan. Professor Gerry O’Sullivan and Professor Kevin Collins at UCC.  The strain, isolated from resected human gastrointestinal tract, was shown to have significant immunomodulatory effects following oral consumption in humans. UCC filed a patent in 1999 that has been granted in Europe and the US and the year 2015 saw major milestones for Alimentary Health.  It launched the product, Alflorex® into the UK markets as a treatment for Irritable Bowel Syndrome through its partnership with Day Lewis Pharmacies.  Alflorex®, developed by AHL over several years, builds on Align® a product developed by AHL and Proctor and Gamble (P&G) that has been sold in America by P&G under license from AHL.  The Align® brand became the biggest selling probiotic supplement brand globally in 2015.  On the home market, Alflorex® won Best Irish Pharmacy product in 2015 and became Ireland’s top selling probiotic supplement in 2015.  Alimentary Health was awarded the US-Ireland Research Innovation Awards in the SME category also in 2015 by the American Chamber of Commerce.  The TTO at UCC has managed the business relationship between the company and UCC since 2002 and was responsible for establishing the company and negotiating initial terms of the licence to the company and shareholding agreement. In the interim the TTO has successfully negotiated the licensing of two further technologies to the company.

University College Dublin - Multipath Technology Licence to Bio-Medical Research Ltd 

A patent application was filed by UCD in 2009 relating to a methodology for stimulating and effectively re-educating the muscles of the pelvic floor using external surface electrodes in subjects with stress urinary incontinence (SUI). The intellectual property arose from a research collaboration with Bio-Medical Research (BMR) Ltd that was led by Professor Brian Caulfield at the UCD School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science. It was licensed to the company which incorporated the technology into a novel electrical muscle stimulating (EMS) device. Following the licensing of UCD’s rights in the technology known as Multipath, the technology was further developed and validated by the company with approximately 500,000 treatment cycles being completed with zero adverse incidents.  This led to the successful launch of a branded product, Vital Compact, in 2014. The device has been shown to be significantly better than conventional EMS devices in reducing or ablating the symptoms associated with SUI and it is having a positive clinical impact with affected patient groups. The product is widely recommended by leading urologists, gynaecologists and physiotherapists.  Sales to date have primarily been in Germany, Ireland and the UK.  In 2015, the company started to sell directly to patients via the internet and sales are growing through this channel and there are plans to launch in the US. UCD’s TTO at NovaUCD has played a central role in managing the relationship with BMR throughout the interaction having initially negotiated the collaborative research agreements, undertook due diligence on the invention disclosures, filed the patent applications and then negotiated the terms of the licence agreements.

Find the complete list of finalists for 2016 here.