This chart shows the pharmaceutical drugs with the most patents still in force.



The Association of University Research Parks (AURP), the world’s leading network of university research, science and technology park professionals, invites you to share your knowledge, expertise and experience by presenting at the 2013 International Conference in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This year's theme is Inventing the Future. 

Proven engines for economic growth and development, university research parks influence their communities in significant ways. AURP’s 2013 annual conference, hosted by The University City Science Center, will feature experts who will examine university research park best practices and the strategies which will develop a knowledge-based economy by increasing ties between university, research parks, government, and industry partners. 

Interesting approaches and creative solutions to challenges surrounding this topic are sought for presentations.


Rare Disease Day, held each year on February 28, was established to raise awareness about the estimated 7,000 rare diseases that affect about 25 million Americans. To mark the occasion in 2013, the NIH will host a free, two-day public event beginning on this day to focus on rare diseases research and advocacy activities supported by several government agencies.

The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) Office of Rare Diseases Research (ORDR) and the NIH Clinical Center are organizing and hosting the event. Others involved include the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Agency for Healthcare Research Quality, and patient organizations, such as the Genetic Alliance and National Organization for Rare Disorders. Register and learn more at .


Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory has won a potential 10-year, $4,904,853,263 U.S. Navy for research, development and engineering work throughout the Defense Department.

The contract includes a five-year option for review and approval by the assistant Navy secretary for research, development and acquisition and the assistant defense secretary for research and evaluation, the Defense Department said Feb. 15.


Psyadon Pharmaceuticals has spent nine months working to enroll the 18 patients it needs for its phase 3 clinical trial involving its treatment for Tourette syndrome.

The Germantown company’s candidate, ecopipam, also targets Lesch-Nyhan disease, a genetic disorder that affects as many as 1,000 Americans, disrupting their ability to walk and causing self-mutilation.

Although Psyadon usually is not directly involved in its clinical trials — it usually uses companies called contract research organizations, which conduct trials for drug makers — it often tracks disease-related patient advocacy groups and sometimes uses this information to raise awareness of the trial, said CEO Richard Chipkin.


Leaders of several Richmond-area biotechnology-related companies said Thursday that they foresee personalized medicine as a major force driving the industry's growth, but access to capital for small firms with good ideas remains a challenge.

"Life sciences is really the big, huge growth industry," said Mike Grisham, the chief executive officer of GPB Scientific, a Richmond-based company focused on using microchip technology in health and life-science research.


The National Science Foundation said today that it will fund a major expansion of its Innovation Corps program, an effort to teach NSF-funded university researchers how to build profitable startups around their technologies.

In its initial stages, the two-year-old “I-Corps” program has been flying researchers to Stanford University, the University of Michigan, and Georgia Tech for prototype versions of the “Lean Launchpad” course originally developed at Stanford by serial entrepreneur and startup guru Steve Blank. Now the program is spreading to nine more universities, which have been singled out for three-year grants totaling $11.2 million.


The health care industry is undergoing major surgery. At the center of these operations is Rock Health, a startup accelerator dedicated to the intersection of healthcare and technology. Today, at a demo event at the University of San Francisco, 14 startups presented their ideas on how to transform and improve healthcare in the U.S..

Dr. Aenor Sawyer, an associate clinical professor at UCSF, said during her opening remarks that these companies are changing “how we take care of patients and how patients take care of themselves.” Whether it is managing secondary care, untangling the confusing labyrinth of insurance, or encouraging healthy lifestyle habits, these startups are holding the scalpels.


San Francisco’s Rock Health startup accelerator held its fourth semi-annual Demo Day at UCSF’s Genentech Hall Wednesday afternoon. Investors and journalists heard pitches from 14 startups working to introduce new health-related services for consumers and new ways to improve the efficiency of the U.S. healthcare system.

On the consumer side, one intriguing presenter was Beam Technologies, which is building a toothbrush embedded with motion sensors to detect how long a person has been brushing. A Bluetooth radio sends the data to a smartphone app. (Perhaps it should have been called the Bluetoothbrush.)


Some of Silicon Valley's most prominent billionaires are making a big push to guide the tech world's entrepreneurs into biotech.

Backing the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences are Yuri Milner; Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki; and Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan.

Fittingly, they're making the announcement at the University of California at San Francisco's Genentech Hall, a building named after one of the Bay Area's biotech standouts.


The University of Maryland's Maryland Industrial Partnerships (MIPS) program today announces it is awarding $4.7 million to Maryland university researchers to help 16 local companies develop technology products.

The projects, which team companies with universities across the state, include gene-silencing for cancer treatment, a new cardiovascular diagnostic device, advanced chemical detection, distributed heating and cooling, fertilizers and soil amendments made from both fish waste and other mixtures, agricultural stormwater treatment, an heirloom tomato juice production system, temperature-detecting gel, a drug to treat lung fibrosis, advanced oyster seeding system, electronic baseball home plate, mobile solar milk chiller, and both a vehicle and sensor technology for inspecting bridges.


The “valley of death” is a common term in the startup world, referring to the difficulty of covering the negative cash flow in the early stages of a startup, before their new product or service is bringing in revenue from real customers. I often get asked about the real alternatives to bridge this valley, and there are some good ones I will outline here.

According to a Gompers and Lerner study, the challenge is very real, with 90% of new ventures that don't attract investors failing within the first three years. The problem is that professional investors (Angels and Venture Capital) want a proven business model before they invest, ready to scale, rather than the more risky research and development efforts.


Life sciences research is a strong economic driver, even if it leads to few patents

As the economy continues to flounder, many cities are looking for ways to replicate Silicon Valley's financial success. When seeking to catch the magic of those biggest successes — Apple, Google and Facebook — the word "innovation" gets thrown around frequently. And as intellectual property is taking on a larger and larger role in how companies do business in the Bay Area, many have equated innovation with patents.

A recent Sun article about innovation in Baltimore and Maryland focused on just that. It lamented that the Baltimore metro area came in 116th out of 360 metro areas for the number of patent applications per capita, and that the number of patents granted to Baltimoreans remained flat over the past decade. The article seemed to suggest that this lack of intellectual property growth was at least partially responsible for Baltimore's lack of job growth.


Montgomery officials are under no illusions about the county’s image among the Washington region’s young: boring.

“We’re a little sleepy,” said County Council member Roger Berliner (D-Potomac-Bethesda). “We go to bed early.”

For all its prosperity and family-friendly suburban appeal, Montgomery is in the throes of a midlife crisis. That angst has led to a new item at the top of the public policy agenda: a yearning to be hip.