Collaboration key to commercializing next-generation personalized medicine
Just as researchers from different institutions collaborate to generate new knowledge and drive research forward, so have the administrative offices servicing the researchers become used to working with other universities to commercialize the results of jointly made research. Similarly, more and more technologies are developed jointly by Aarhus University researchers and their colleagues in the private industry. Each year a dozen inventions made by Aarhus University staff through research collaborations are handled by the TTO.
One such collaboration has been the pioneering work done by Professor Jørgen Kjems at the Department of Molecular Biology and iNANO, Aarhus University and Professor Jesper Wengel, Department of Physics and Chemistry at the University of Southern Denmark. They have worked in the rapidly growing field of personalized medicine to develop a novel technology based on gene therapy. “Rarely, there is one or two researchers behind a patent in this field. Today, almost all research is done in larger networks,” says Professor Jørgen Kjems.
The technology was commercialized jointly by Aarhus University and Science Ventures Denmark, a wholly-owned subsidy of the University of Southern Denmark and was sold to the Danish biotech company Santaris Pharma in 2007. Besides the potential revenue flowing back to the company if a drug is ever marketed, Professor Jørgen Kjems sees another benefit: “Santaris is paying for more research at the university, which enables us to keep developing the invention“.
Photo by Lars Kruse/AU-foto