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November 6, 2008

3 companies started in FY08 based on Pitt innovations

Three start-up companies based on innovations developed at Pitt were created in fiscal year 2008, bringing the total number of start-ups to 69 since Pitt’s Office of Technology Management opened in 1996.

The OTM annual report showed continuing interest in bringing Pitt innovations to market. In FY08, more than 400 Pitt faculty, staff and students representing more than 70 research disciplines embarked on the first step of the technology transfer process. They submitted a total of 244 invention disclosures to OTM, keeping pace with last year’s 246 disclosures.

Licenses or options for Pitt innovations also held steady, with 58 deals executed during FY08, the same as in FY07. This year’s licenses were linked to nearly 70 Pitt innovators.

Licensing revenue totaled $6.67 million for the year.

Pitt and its innovators also received three dozen U.S. patents (bringing the total to 160 since 2003) and filed applications for 100 more during FY08.

In the annual report, Marc Malandro, associate vice chancellor for Technology Management and Commercialization, commented on the trend. He stated that OTM is “excited to see a growing number of innovators participating in this process, suggesting that technology commercialization continues to play a growing role as part of the University’s overall goal to see products developed from its research benefit society. More than 400 faculty, staff, and student innovators were included in invention disclosures submitted to our office for consideration this past year. We are seeing even greater changes in the culture, some of which can be measured by the number of invention disclosures, patents and licenses/options that constitute the continued growth and success of the OTM and [the Office of Enterprise Development]’s efforts. Even the number of participants in our educational courses on innovation commercialization has grown substantially this past year as interest in the process expands.”

The annual report is available at

The start-ups created in 2008 all were based in the health sciences. They are:

• Cardiorobotics, Inc., which is developing robotic probes for use in minimally invasive cardiac and other surgeries. Marco Zenati, professor of surgery, is a company co-founder and chairs its scientific advisory board.

• EPR-Technologies, Inc., which uses new emergency hypothermia procedures to put trauma victims into temporary suspended animation until treatment can be obtained.

The process and equipment were developed by Patrick Kochanek, Xianren Wu and William Stezoski, all of the Department of Critical Care Medicine, and Samuel Tisherman of the Department of Surgery.

• Prevencio, LLC, which was formed to utilize discoveries by William LaFramboise of the Department of Pathology and Oscar Marroquin, Dennis McNamara and Suresh Mulukutla of the Department of Medicine. The researchers developed a series of protein signatures detectable in body fluids that can reveal signs of vascular disease.

Filed under: Feature,Volume 41 Issue 6

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