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STC.UNM Signs Commercialization Agreement with Chiba University in Japan

Albuquerque, NM – July 15, 2014 The University of New Mexico’s tech-transfer and economic-development organization, STC.UNM, recently signed a commercialization agreement with Chiba University to market technology developed at the Japanese university for licensing opportunities to companies in the U.S. and abroad. STC will market the technology, which is protected by an issued U.S. patent, to U.S. and global companies. Both organizations see the arrangement as mutually advantageous. STC will incur no patent costs and share in licensing fees and royalties and Chiba University will gain the assistance of experienced university technology-transfer professionals in commercializing its technology.

The patented technology, developed by Professor Naoto Yamaguchi and Associate Professor Yasunori Fukumoto from Chiba’s Department of Molecular Cell Biology in the Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, is a transfection method for introducing nucleic acids into cells using acidified polyethylenimine (PEI), a cationic polymer. The nucleic acids are mixed with PEI under acidic conditions and then transferred into cells. PEI is inexpensive, non-viral, and non-liposomal, and condenses DNA to form stable complexes. Additionally, PEI’s high pH acts as a buffer that protects the incorporated DNA from lysosomal degradation. This technology is designed for reagent kits.

The commercialization agreement is one of the successful outcomes of a recent trip to Japan by STC, UNM administration, and the School of Engineering to meet with Japanese industry organizations, companies and universities to foster international research and commercialization partnerships for UNM and for the Innovate ABQ innovation district project. The UNM contingent, along with the Japanese National Institute of Science and Technology Policy (NISTEP) and the University Consortium for International Intellectual Property Coordination (UCIP), co-hosted an international workshop and held meetings to explore ways to advance university research and development to increase economic-development partnerships among academic, industry and government organizations on a global scale.

The STC-Chiba agreement is also an excellent outcome for the partnership STC has with UCIP, a consortium of universities in Japan who are interested in developing technology-transfer programs to commercialize their university inventions. Many universities in Japan, especially smaller ones, are in the initial stages of developing technology-transfer programs. UCIP and STC executed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in 2010, establishing cooperation in the fields of research, development and commercialization. The partnership includes the sharing of educational best practices in university technology transfer; an international student internship program; and cooperative research and commercialization projects among STC, UCIP members, and U.S. and Japanese companies, leading to future licensing opportunities, sponsored research, and other business ventures. UCIP members include Chiba University, the University of Yamanashi, Niigata University, Niigata University of Pharmacy and Applied Life Sciences, Shinshu University, Shizuoka University, Shibaura Institute of Technology, Yokohama National University, UEC Tokyo, Kobe University, and Saitama University. UCIP acts as a hub through which member organizations can connect with UNM researchers and other universities and research organizations in the U.S. to collaborate on research and find companies and investors interested in commercializing their technologies. A UNM researcher recently collaborated with a UCIP member and a Japanese company on laser technology.

“We are pleased with the connections that our partnership with UCIP is fostering, as evidenced by the commercialization agreement with Chiba University, and look forward to marketing the PEI technology,” commented STC CEO Lisa Kuuttila. “There are many Japanese universities eager to collaborate on research and who are looking for ways to commercialize their technologies. UCIP and STC are mutually committed to extending the reach of UNM and Japanese technologies in the global marketplace.”

Dr. Daisuke Katagiri, Research Associate Professor at Chiba University’s Organization for Academic-Industrial Collaboration and Intellectual Property, stated: “We are also very pleased to collaborate with STC.UNM so that we can advance our globalization efforts. Through UCIP, Chiba University looks forward to more cooperative commercialization partnerships for our technologies.”

About Chiba University

Chiba University, located in Chiba, Japan, approximately 25 miles southeast of Tokyo, is one of the largest universities in Japan with approximately 15,000 undergraduate and graduate students on its four campuses. The university has strong programs in medicine (School of Medicine), pharmaceutical sciences, nursing, engineering and horticulture, and has a high level of participation among students and faculty in international research and study abroad. In 2013, the school was ranked 75th on the Asia University Rankings by The Times Higher Education World University Rankings. To find out more about the university, visit their website at http://www.chiba-u.ac.jp/e/.


As the technology-transfer and economic-development organization of the University of New Mexico, STC.UNM protects and commercializes technologies developed at UNM by filing patents and copyrights and transferring the technologies to the marketplace. Located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in the United States, STC connects the business community (companies, entrepreneurs and investors) to these UNM technologies for licensing opportunities and the creation of start-up companies. For additional information, contact Jovan Heusser, STC Senior Innovation Manager, at (505) 272-7908 or jheusser@stc.unm.edu. To learn more about us, visit our website at http://www.stc.unm.edu.

Source: STC.UNM

For more information, contact:

Denise Bissell
(505) 272-7310