Showcase Spotlights NCI, FNLCR Inventions
Scientists in the intramural research programs at the National Cancer Institute and the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research (FNLCR) are developing commercially relevant technologies needing development into products to benefit patients.
Developing technologies requires collaboration between federal labs and the business community through a process known as technology transfer. A unique forum, the annual Technology Showcase in Frederick, Md., provides insights into how to license from and collaborate with NCI/FNLCR.
The third annual event was held recently at FNLCR’s Advanced Technology Research Facility. The free half-day conference drew more than 200 attendees from companies, entrepreneurs, investors, regional economic development stakeholders and NCI/FNLCR staff.
Event highlights included:
- NCI and FNLCR principal investigators and inventors presenting technology summaries describing not only “the science,” but also the commercial and life-saving potential as well. Additional innovations were highlighted in posters presented by the NCI Technology Transfer Ambassador Program, which is composed of postdocs undergoing training and mentorship in technology development.
- Panel sessions focused on technology commercialization such as “How to Partner with the NCI and FNLCR,” “Non-Dilutive Sources of Funding for Commercializing Technology,” “The Role of Incubators and Accelerators” and “Making Your Company Attractive to Equity Investors.”
- Attendees learned how to translate discoveries into solutions improving global health, from bench to bedside.
Recent NCI tech transfer success stories include Kite Pharmaceuticals’ Yescarta, a cancer immunotherapy transferred out of an NCI lab; Avelumab, commercially known as Bavencio, a pioneering Merkel cell carcinoma treatment developed as part of an agreement between EMD Serono and the NCI TTC; and Gaithersburg-based miRecule, Inc., an early-stage oncology company created around an NCI genetic therapy invention it licensed.
“The NCI and FNLCR intramural programs are outstanding sources for technological and scientific innovation of benefit to public health,” said Dr. Michael Salgaller of the TTC. “During the afternoon, researchers and business people learned the benefits of working together to create the next generation of medical solutions. They interacted with potential partners and investors, laying the foundation to commercialize future life-changing treatments and cures for cancer patients. The event is one of the ways that NCI TTC works to increase development of NCI intramural inventions so that groundbreaking scientific discoveries make it beyond NCI research labs into products and services of benefit to patients.”