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New Pitt and UPMC Agreement Will Promote Research Commercialization

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Wendy Zellner
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PITTSBURGH, Feb. 20, 2015 — The University of Pittsburgh and UPMC have entered into a new agreement designed to accelerate the commercialization of intellectual property arising from the research activity of University faculty. The partnership is intended to speed the commercialization of new medical technologies and services, offering the dual benefit of bringing medical advances to the public more rapidly and supporting new business startups, with the accompanying economic benefits for the region.

This agreement builds on Pitt’s core mission of impacting society through knowledge and it is part of UPMC’s long-time strategy of commercializing innovation to improve patient care while generating revenue to reinvest in its world-class health care and research and in the communities it serves. In addition, the collaborative effort draws on the strengths of both institutions in commercializing new technologies and extends the robust research collaboration between Pitt and UPMC.

With the new agreement, the terms of each type of commercialization (e.g. licensing, royalty arrangements, equity in new companies, etc.) have been negotiated in advance, allowing for a smoother and quicker transition from research to commercialization. Representatives from both partners will meet regularly to discuss research projects underway and medical needs based on clinical experience.

Pitt Chancellor Patrick Gallagher noted that this agreement is an example of Pitt’s increased emphasis on collaboration.  “We have to work with others around us to be in a position to make the biggest difference, in our community, our region, and ultimately, the world,” Gallagher said.  “This expanded partnership with UPMC is a good example of how collaboration of this type can accelerate the beneficial health care aspects of our research for the community, while at the same time having a positive impact on our region’s economy.”

UPMC President and CEO Jeffrey Romoff endorsed Chancellor Gallagher’s remarks. “Our partnership is another example of how medicine and education – or ‘meds and eds’ – continue to drive the economic revitalization of western Pennsylvania,” Romoff said.  “Collaborating with world-class academic and industry partners is also part of UPMC’s strategy for   diversifying revenues in the face of a changing, value-driven health care landscape.”

Pitt and UPMC also announced the first technology to be licensed by UPMC Enterprises under the agreement is a genetic discovery that is leading to a highly accurate test for aggressive prostate cancer that could identify whether treatment is needed. Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among men.

UPMC Enterprises, the arm of UPMC responsible for identifying and commercializing health care technologies and services, will work closely with Pitt’s Innovation Institute to consistently translate Pitt research in the earliest stages into new products and companies.  The agreement is not limited to any particular research area, nor is it exclusive for either partner.

Pitt’s Innovation Institute is the University's hub for activities that promote and foster innovation and entrepreneurship on campus and throughout the Pittsburgh region. The goals of the Institute are to encourage and support innovation and entrepreneurship on campus and in the community.