Skip to Navigation
University of Pittsburgh
Print This Page Print this pages

October 25, 2012

Pitt innovators set invention, licensing records

OTM’s annual report

Invention disclosures and licensing transactions reached record highs in fiscal year 2012 as members of the University community continued to gain momentum in commercializing efforts for innovations developed at Pitt.

In its fiscal year 2012 annual report, the University’s Office of Technology Management reported that 310 invention disclosures — the first step in the process of commercializing an innovation — were submitted, breaking last year’s record of 257 submissions.

Licensing transactions and options executed rose to 132, up almost 25 percent from 105 in FY11. Of the 132, 57 are under institutional agreements in which Pitt was not the lead institution, up 39 percent from a year ago, while 68 are regular licenses/option, up from 59 last year.

Patent applications also rose. In FY12, 123 patent applications were filed, up from 87 in the prior year. And 49 patents were awarded to Pitt innovators in FY12, up from 37 a year ago.

Commercialization revenues (including licensing revenue, equity sales and legal fee reimbursements from licensees) rose more than 10 percent over last year to nearly $6.8 million.

Nine new startups based on Pitt innovations were spun out in FY12. Last year there were two.

The FY12 startups were:


The startup is based on a computer software system developed by computational and systems biology faculty member Carlos Camacho.

The software optimizes and speeds up screening of molecular drug candidates against protein-protein targets, speeding drug discovery.

Cellular Research Laboratories

The startup is based on an antioxidant compound designed to slow the aging process. Chemistry faculty member Peter Wipf developed the technology.


The startup has licensed technologies developed by pharmacology and chemical biology faculty member Bruce Freeman. Among them are anti-inflammatory treatments for Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.


The startup is based on an anti-icing coating developed by chemical and petroleum engineering faculty member Di Gao. The company is aiming at the wind turbine industry among others in which it is important to prevent ice from accumulating on surfaces.

First Principles Engineering

The startup is based on an energy-harvesting device that can capture energy from shallow, unevenly flowing water. Mechanical engineering and materials science faculty member Lisa Weiland developed the device.

Paradigm Oncology

The startup has licensed a set of biomarkers developed by pharmacology and chemical biology faculty member Robert Sobol Jr. The company is developing a diagnostic service to predict patient outcomes associated with alkylator chemotherapy.


The startup founded by chemical and petroleum engineering department chair Steven Little and grad student Sam Rothstein is based on microparticle technology developed in Little’s lab.

SAVD Solar

The company is based on nano-optic based refractive thin-film materials and devices that aim to improve the efficiency of solar energy panels. Electrical and computer engineering faculty member Hong Koo Kim developed the technology.

Windhoek Healthcare

The startup is based on an antibiotic formula for ear infections that reduces side effects such as diaper rash and diarrhea. Pediatrics faculty member Alejandro Hoberman developed the technology.

—Kimberly K. Barlow

Filed under: Feature,Volume 45 Issue 5

Leave a Reply