CHICAGO (9/29/2010) — Never before have innovation and the business of intellectual property (IP) commercialization and licensing been more heavily relied upon to spur new business than in today’s sagging global economy. With this in mind, the Licensing Executives Society (USA & Canada), Inc., today honored companies in five industry sectors with the prestigious Deals of Distinction™ Awards for outstanding IP-based business deals undertaken in the past year.
Now in their 6th year, the Deals of Distinction™ Awards are presented to the best deals in the Chemicals, Energy, Environment and Materials Sector (CEEM); High Tech Sector; Industry-University-Government Interface (IUGI) Sector; Life Sciences Sector; and Consumer Products Sector. Here are the 2010 winners:
Chemicals, Energy, Environment and Materials (CEEM) Sector Winner
BASF and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory and BASF are being awarded for a worldwide licensing agreement for the mass production and marketing of Argonne’s patented lithium-stabilized NCM (Nickel-Cobalt-Manganese-oxides) cathode materials, which are used to manufacturer advanced lithium-ion batteries.
The patented cathode materials licensed to BASF are part of a large and diverse suite of lithium-ion battery inventions and patents developed at Argonne with funding from DOE’s Vehicle Technologies program. The license covers the broadest scope of NCM chemistry that can be used in today’s lithium-ion batteries. This includes lithium stabilization (molar ratio of lithium to other metals greater than 1) of known NCM materials, such as 111, 424, and 523, which improves power characteristics, cycle life and safety of current lithium-ion technology.
The further development and commercialization of the cathode materials will result in advanced high-energy batteries that are higher-performing, more cost-efficient and safer when compared to existing technology. Among other things, the agreement is sure to have strong implications for expanding the availability of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.
“The patented technology involved in this license agreement appears to be significant in reducing some of the “down sides” (perceived or real) to battery technology for hybrid and all-electric vehicles,” said Jeff Wendt, CEEM Sector Co-Chair for the Deals of Distinction™ Awards. “Cost reduction and better performance are the hallmarks of basic science and technology, and make license negotiations that much easier when there are practical applications for the improvements. We can all be thankful for the hard work of Argonne’s scientific team and the foresight of the BASF team in verifying the quality of the science through licensing and commercialization. In a nutshell, this is how it is supposed to work!”
CEEM Sector Chair, Bob Payne added, “This year’s award winner promises to be one of the most meaningful deals ever recognized by our sector because it has the potential to improve the environment, provide economic growth and create new jobs. We wish the award recipients great success with the efforts conducted under this world-wide license agreement.”
High Technology Sector Winner
ICAP Ocean Tomo and the University of Southern California (USC)
The LES (USA & Canada) High Technology Sector Deals of Distinction™ Award goes to the USC Stevens Institute for Innovation for its groundbreaking license of 11 patents arising from the USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education, related to Digital Multimedia Library Cataloging and Search Technologies.
The technology was originally developed to provide a means to archive, index, and search the nearly 52,000 video testimonials of Holocaust survivors and other witnesses collected by the Institute. The Institute was founded in 1994 by Steven Spielberg after he completed the film Schindler’s List. Today, its collection is one of the largest video digital libraries in the world.
Partnering with ICAP Ocean Tomo, the intellectual property brokerage division of ICAP, USC Stevens Institute for Innovation leveraged the ICAP Ocean Tomo Spring 2010 Live Auction to complete the transaction.
In contrast to an outright sale, the auction of the exclusive license from USC enabled the university to raise significant funds while maintaining ownership of the underlying assets. The transaction is seen as a “game-changing” approach for universities and government research organizations, enabling them to raise funds in a manner consistent to their underlying mission. For USC, the funds raised by the university through the auction will be used to promote continued research and innovation.
Industry-University-Government Interface (IUGI) Sector Winner
AstraZeneca & University of Pennsylvania
In February, the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) and AstraZeneca forged a new collaborative research agreement, featuring a significant licensing component, that makes use of their respective talents and resources to generate new Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) drug candidates for the clinical development pipeline.
Penn Medicine’s Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research (CNDR) will provide rapid access to unique state-of-the-art drug compound screening assays and knowledge of the biology of tau, a protein known to play a key role in dementias. In turn, AstraZeneca scientists will supply basic research with access to the technologies and skills required to discover and develop new drug molecules.
The agreement allows the parties to work closely together in drug discovery and development, and contains potential royalties and milestone payments linked to successful clinical development and eventual worldwide marketing of tau-targeted therapies for AD.
“The IUGI sector applauds this partnership, which is an excellent illustration of the interface between industry and academia that our sector strives to promote,” said IUGI Sector Chair Elaine White. “In establishing this ongoing relationship, the interests of both parties will be well-served, and we anticipate that it will yield meaningful advances that will have a significant impact on a highly needy patient population.”
Life Sciences Sector Winner
Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals and Genzyme Corporation
In May 2009, Genzyme Corporation acquired the worldwide rights to a potential breakthrough treatment for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) along with three marketed oncology products from Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals.
In this highly complex licensing deal, Genzyme assumed primary responsibility for the development and commercialization of Campath®/MabCampath® for MS, continuing the co-development collaboration between the two companies and retaining for Bayer the opportunity to co-promote the product, if approved, leveraging the company’s experience and relationships in the MS market. The agreement also expanded Genzyme’s commercial presence in hematologic oncology with the acquisition of worldwide licenses for three of Bayer’s hematologic oncology products, including Fludara®, Leukine® and Campath for B-cell Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL).
“The Genzyme – Bayer agreement illustrates the merit in looking beyond just the dollars to focus on the strategic value to each company and the impacted therapeutic areas,” said Catherine Oyler, Chair of the LES Life Sciences Sector. “As companies work to balance and advance their portfolios, this type of multiple therapeutic area collaboration represents a creative approach to deal-making. We are delighted to recognize this innovative partnership between Genzyme and Bayer with this award.”
Consumer Products Sector Winner
GlaxoSmithKline and NanoBio
The Consumer Products Sector Deals of Distinction™ Award was presented to GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and NanoBio, a privately-held biopharma company, for their exclusive licensing agreement in the United States and Canada for the over-the-counter (OTC) use of NB-001. Phase 2 clinical trials have shown this patented compound provides significant antimicrobial activity.
GSK Consumer Healthcare leads the United States OTC cold sore category with Abreva, the only OTC treatment shown to shorten cold sore healing time. NanoBio’s novel patented compound NB-001 represents the next advance in the treatment of cold sores, through its significant activity against the virus that causes cold sores, herpes labialis.
“We are thrilled to see more products being developed that have a direct route to the Over-the-Counter medicines and get in the hands of the consumer,” said Robin Sitver and Rimma Driscoll, Consumer Products Sector Co-Chairs. “This will be a novel product in the line of OTC cold sore products.”
About the LES Deals of Distinction™ Awards Program
Started in 2005, the LES Deals of Distinction™ Award Program recognizes worthy transactions involving licensing and transfer of intellectual property and promotes creative and innovative solutions to business issues involving contracts. Nominations with the support of a LES member are considered and, with input from that industry, recommended by the LES Deals of Distinction™ Awards Committee and ratified by the LES Executive Committee. The criteria for the 2010 awards included distinctive deals in structure or objective, consummated in 2009, with at least one party having a presence in the U.S.A. and Canada. The physical award is hand sculpted glass by the artisans of Parris-Roché Design Studios, consisting of a pair of entwined blue glass ribbons encased in a clear conic pinnacle, symbolic of parties coming together and obtaining superior results through collaboration. The awards were announced in connection with the 2010 LES Annual Meeting in Chicago, USA, held September 26-29, which included participation of nearly 1,000 licensing executives. For more information on the LES Deals of Distinction™ Awards, see http://www.lesusacanada.org/dda.
About the Licensing Executives Society (USA & Canada), Inc.
Established in 1965, the Licensing Executives Society (USA & Canada), Inc. (LES) is a professional society comprised of 5,000 members engaged in the transfer, use, development and marketing of intellectual property. The LES membership includes a wide range of professionals, including business executives, lawyers, licensing consultants, engineers, academicians, scientists and government officials. Many large corporations, professional firms, and universities comprise the Society’s membership. LES (U.S.A. & Canada), Inc. is a member society of the Licensing Executives Society International, Inc. (LESI), with a worldwide membership of over 11,000 members in 32 national societies, representing over 90 countries. For more information on LES, see www.lesusacanada.org.