Thursday 31 July 2008

Former univ spin-off strikes gold

Science Business reports that Proximagen Neuroscience plc has agreed a $232 million worldwide licensing deal with Upsher-Smith Laboratories Inc. for the development and commercialisation of PRX1, a preclinical stage product for the symptomatic treatment of Parkinson’s disease. Proximagen, a spin-off from King’s College London, in 2003, was floated on the Alternative Investment Market AIM in 2005, raising £14.5 million and bringing a £1 million windfall for the university.

This provides a further case-study for the debate as to whether universities do better by keeping a tight rein on the management and exploitation of IP rights generated by research based in their institutions, or whether the flexibility and autonomy of a spin-off is better equipped to raise funds for further development and/or to agree a suitably commercial licensing structure.

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