Chief Technology Development Officer
Office of Technology Development
Medicine in Need Corporation
Harvard University’s Office of Technology Development and Medicine in Need (MEND)
-- Sign Licensing Agreement to Help Bring New Vaccines and Drugs to Developing Countries --
Cambridge, MA, June 6, 2007 - Harvard University’s Office of Technology Development (OTD) and Medicine in Need (MEND) have entered into a licensing agreement to bring innovative vaccine and drug products to people in developing countries. Efforts will focus initially on tuberculosis (TB) and are expected to expand rapidly to other infectious diseases.
MEND is a non-profit drug delivery technology platform corporation, combining proprietary compound formulations with low-cost, high-throughput spray drying technologies to turn existing, proven injectable drugs and vaccines into dry powders - enabling effective, safe treatment delivery via pulmonary, oral and injectable routes.
Under the terms of a field limited, co-exclusive agreement, Harvard University will license its patented HKR technology, limited to using the new oligomer (salen) catalysts, for use in the synthesis of chiral epoxides and diol compounds. Using this family of catalysts, DAISO will synthesize and sell chiral compounds to its customers, who, in turn, will utilize them to synthesize safe and effective chiral drugs.
Under the terms of the agreement, Harvard has granted a royalty-free license to MEND for its work relating to drugs and vaccines geared toward developing countries. MEND is also pursuing commercial markets in the developed world for the sole purpose of supporting its charitable mission. MEND will pay Harvard a royalty on these revenues, and under an innovative gift-back mechanism, most of these payments will be donated by Harvard back to MEND to support MEND’s nonprofit effort to develop advanced treatments and preventative therapies for diseases of poverty.
“The agreement with MEND exemplifies what we, as an office, strive to achieve everyday,” stated Isaac T. Kohlberg, Chief Technology Development Officer, Harvard University. “We are dedicated to forging relationships with strong, effective partners seeking to develop important therapies and technologies that will alleviate human suffering, improve healthcare and enhance the quality of life.” Kohlberg continued, "We are particularly pleased that, through the novel gift-back mechanism that we developed, Harvard will help advance MEND's humanitarian mission and expand access to Harvard technology."
“MEND strives to enhance the process by which drugs and vaccines move from the lab to the people who need them most,” said David A. Edwards, Scientific Founder and Chairman of MEND. Edwards, who is also a Professor of the Practice of Biomedical Engineering in the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, co-invented the licensed technology.
MEND’s Executive Founder Paul Bottino added that, “This partnership with Harvard aligns perfectly with MEND’s mission and represents an exceptional model for a non-profit-university collaboration to promote developing world access to biomedical breakthroughs.”
In September 2005, Dr. Edwards received a $7.6 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to develop ways to use nanoparticles to deliver vaccines. Since its inception, the Gates Foundation has been dedicated to developing therapies for the most devastating diseases afflicting poor populations. As a collaborator on this grant, MEND is becoming an important vehicle through which the advancement of technology and innovation can result in potentially life-saving therapies.
"David's work and the creation of MEND exemplify the spirit of impact engineering at our school," said Venkatesh Narayanamurti, Dean of the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, where MEND originated. "It is invigorating to see lab work move closer to benefiting society and this novel University licensing relationship increases our innovative capacity to do just that."
“MEND’s operating model is to partner with leading pharmaceutical players to get products the fastest to patients,” stated Alexis Wallace, Executive Director of MEND. “And we are eager to explore opportunities to develop our technologies with the pharmaceutical industry.”
About Harvard University’s Office of Technology Development
The Harvard Office of Technology Development (OTD) is responsible for all activities pertaining to the evaluation, patenting and licensing of new inventions and discoveries made at Harvard University and Harvard Medical School. OTD also serves to further the development of Harvard technologies through the establishment of sponsored research collaborations with industry. OTD’s mission is to promote the public good by fostering innovation and translating new inventions made at Harvard into useful products available and beneficial to society.
About Medicine in Need (MEND)
MEND (www.medicineinneed.org) is an international nonprofit organization developing innovative technologies and products to prevent and treat diseases of poverty in the developing world. MEND translates to clinical practice inventions from the Harvard School of Engineering laboratory of its scientific founder, Professor David Edwards. MEND is headquartered in Cambridge, MA and has offices in Paris, France and Pretoria, South Africa.