Registration is open for the virtual 2020 Technology Showcase on September 9. The agenda includes keynote presentations from Kelly Schulz, Secretary, Maryland Department of Commerce, and Chris McDonald, Vice President of Manufacturing, Kite Pharma; technology pitches from nine NCI and Frederick National Laboratory scientists; an all-female scientist/investor-led technology commercialization panel; and a virtual poster pitch session from the NCI Technology Transfer Ambassadors Program. Companies, entrepreneurs, innovators and investors are encouraged to attend. Learn more: 2020 Technology Showcase .
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The TTC has fellowship opportunities available. A fellowship with TTC provides an opportunity for qualified candidates to apply a science, legal or business background to a career in technology transfer. Experience gained through the fellowship can create a new competency, preparing fellows for technology transfer positions within academia, industry, or the federal government. Learn more, including how to apply: https://techtransfer.cancer.gov/aboutttc/jointtc
The National Cancer Institute seeks scientific and commercial development of an autologous CD22 CAR T-cell therapy for B-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). A Breakthrough Therapy Designation was received from the FDA based on observed responses in fifty-eight patients in a Phase I clinical trial sponsored by NCI. Details of the partnering arrangements can be reviewed on the NCI TTC web site. Statements of capability and interest from prospective parties interested in in-licensing or participating in co-development research should contact Jim Knabb, Ph.D., Senior Technology Transfer Manager, NCI TTC, email@example.com.
The 4th Annual Technology Showcase is going virtual and will take place on September 9, 2020. The virtual event will feature a keynote address from Kite Pharma, panel sessions focused on technology commercialization and technology pitches from NCI and Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research scientists. To learn more, visit 2020 Technology Showcase.
Two National Cancer Institute projects have been recognized with national awards from the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer (FLC). The winners will be recognized at the group’s National Meeting in Portland Oregon April 28-30. The FLC is a Congressionally mandated organization that educates, promotes, and facilitates federal technology transfer. Learn more about NCI’s awards below:
Award 1: “New, First-in-class Immunotherapy, for Treatment of Recurrent, Metastatic Cervical Cancer”
Winner of 2020 Excellence in Technology Transfer Award
This award recognizes employees of FLC member laboratories and non-laboratory staff who have accomplished outstanding work in the process of transferring federally developed technology.
Early in his career Steven Rosenberg, M.D., Ph.D., observed a patient with terminal cancer whose disease spontaneously disappeared and theorized it had something to do with the patient’s immune system. He and other researchers pursued this hypothesis for decades despite a skeptical scientific community. Today, Rosenberg’s pioneering research in cancer immunotherapy and individually designed “personalized” medicine is at the forefront of innovation, providing hope and cures for cancer patients who have exhausted all other treatments.
In 2011, NCI and Iovance Biotherapeutics entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) for the development of adoptive cell therapy (ACT) using tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL). Technology licenses between NCI and Iovance were established to grant Iovance rights to the NIH’s TIL patent estate. Currently Iovance is conducting two pivotal multi-center trials of TIL technology in advanced cervical cancer and metastatic melanoma. In May 2019 the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) gave the technology a Breakthrough Therapy designation for advanced cervical cancer for patients who have exhausted all other treatment options.
Successes like the NCI-Iovance collaboration spur increases in medical research spending and investment. In June 2019, Iovance began construction of a 136,000 square foot TIL manufacturing plant in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with capacity to meet demand for thousands of patients in multiple cancers. The next-generation facility aims to scale up TIL manufacturing and reduce the time and cost to produce the cells, which has been a major barrier for this type of treatment. The fact that immunotherapy treatments have the potential to provide cancer patients with improved quality of life with fewer, less severe side-effects will continue to attract investment and increase the development of new, lifesaving medical technologies.
NCI, Iovance and its collaborators now have now initiated additional TIL trials in other solid tumors. This effective partnership has transferred an unprecedented immunotherapy treatment from a federal lab to the private sector advanced it to late-stage clinical development. The innovative treatment has the potential to help thousands of patients a year with deadly and previously untreatable forms of cancer.
NCI Scientific Team
Steven A. Rosenberg, M.D., Ph.D., chief, NCI Surgery Branch
Christian Hinrichs, M.D., Investigator, NCI Experimental Transplantation and Immunotherapy Branch
Aida Cremesti, Ph.D., Senior Technology Transfer Manager (TTM), NCI TTC
Andrew Burke, Ph.D., TTM, NCI TTC
Maria Fardis, Ph.D. MBA, CEO, Iovance
Award 2: “NCI Technology Transfer Ambassadors Program: Innovative Internal and External Engagement”
Winner of 2020 Technology Transfer Innovation Award
This award recognizes federal laboratories that successfully implemented innovative or unconventional technology transfer approaches that resulted in a significant increase in technology transfer (T2) activities. This is a new FLC award category.
In September 2016, to better engage and educate the scientific community, the NCI TTC launched the first federal Technology Transfer Ambassadors Program (TTAP). The program has significantly impacted technology transfer efforts across the NCI and is now being offered and adopted across the NIH.
The TTAP is the first formal technology transfer training and mentoring program open to NIH post-doctoral scientists (post-docs) seeking professional development in invention analysis, commercialization, and entrepreneurship. The one-year program augments each post-doc’s current research activities and boosts the impact on the technology transfer environment at NIH.
While TTAP has received positive feedback and results since first implemented in 2016, TTAP’s strength directly stems from efforts to continuously enhance the program. In 2019, program leads included a new “Technology Transfer Boot Camp,” a series of intensive hands-on training sessions to equip post-doc participants with skills immediately applicable to their training while they worked directly with TTC managers. Additionally, the leads developed a “Perfecting Your Pitch” workshop and “Pitch Practice” sessions for post-doc participants to learn how to effectively communicate the value propositions of technologies to business audiences. Since participating in TTAP, several post-doc participants have transitioned their careers into technology transfer and many other related professions.
TTAP has and continues to strive toward creating a lab-to-market mindset across NIH Institutes. In some labs, a paradigm shift has investigators focusing research efforts on outcomes with more of an eye to commercialization. The result is a more entrepreneurial culture, stronger connections between technology transfer and the scientific community, and enhanced efficiency of NIH technology transfer efforts for commercialization.
Successful outcomes include multiple invention disclosures and transactional agreements initiated by post-doc participants, dozens of analyses and presentations informing NIH patent investment decisions, improved marketing campaigns for NIH technologies, and an increase in creative TT engagement with scientists.
Winners: Technology Transfer Ambassador Team Leads, NCI TTC:
Laura Prestia, Ph.D., Communications & Strategic Initiatives Manager
Rose Freel Ph.D., Senior Technology Transfer Manager (TTM)
Taryn Dick Ph.D., M.B.A., TTM
Abritee Dhal Ph.D., TTM
More information about TTAP can be found at: https://techtransfer.cancer.gov/aboutttc/ambassadors
At numerous events throughout the year, TTC proactively engages companies, entrepreneurs, investors, and those biotech stakeholders wishing to commercialize technologies and spur economic development. Find out where we will be in the winter and spring of 2020: TechTransfer Partnering & Outreach Events
TTC's Invention Development and Marketing Unit is seeking qualified candidates for a specialized Fellowship focused on business development and marketing. This is an opportunity to be part of a team dedicated to de-risking early-stage technologies and marketing them to potential collaborators and licensees. The Fellowship is designed to develop the unique skills associated with marketing a large patent portfolio within a federal technology transfer office.
Market analysis. Outreach. Creating marketing strategies and campaigns. These are just some of the challenges that TTC's Marketing and Business Development Fellows get to tackle. Learn more: https://techtransfer.cancer.gov/aboutttc/jointtc
Advances involving NCI tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) immunotherapies were recently featured in Nature Biotechnology: "Pursuit of tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte immunotherapy speeds up." Research involving TIL immunotherapy is not new, but recent breakthroughs in overcoming some of the challenges associated with it have made it a rapidly developing field. Subtitled: “Mounting evidence of efficacy in metastatic breast cancer and other epithelial tumors is driving clinical and commercial investment in tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes,” the article references the clinical research of Steven Rosenberg, M.D., Ph.D. chief of the NCI Surgery Branch, Center Cancer Research (CCR), and Stephanie Goff, M.D., an associate research physician with the NCI Surgery Branch. The NCI Technology Transfer Center facilitates technology transfer activities for NCI TIL research and discoveries.
Recent NCI collaborations with industry are highlighted in a May 2019 feature article by BioBuzz entitled: "Three Examples That Show Why NCI is a Goldmine of Blockbuster Technologies for Commercialization." The article also highlights the 2019 Technology Showcase on June 12 as an opportunity to learn how to collaborate and license technologies from the NCI and the the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research. Learn more about the event, including how to register, at: 2019 Technology Showcase.
Three new cancer therapies recently approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) – avelumab (BAVENCIO®), axicabtagene ciloleucel (YESCARTA®) and moxetumomab pasudotox (LUMOXITI™) – are the result of significant efforts by researchers from NCI’s Center for Cancer Research. Read more about these examples of technology transfer at work in the May - June 2019 issue of The NIH Catalyst, a publication about NIH Intramural Research.