Research Communications

Allinson joins Ohio University Technology Transfer Office 


Institution leads Ohio public universities in licensing revenue for research discoveries

ATHENS, Ohio (March 31, 2010) – Bryan Allinson has joined Ohio University as director of technology transfer, leading the university’s efforts to move inventions from the laboratory to the marketplace and to form spin-off companies based on faculty technology.

The university, which was ranked fourth in the nation for research return on investment by Forbes magazine, is slated to receive $8 million in royalty income by the end of fiscal year 2010. Ohio University also is the top public university in the state of Ohio for licensing revenue generated from research discoveries, according to a fiscal year 2008 survey by the Association for University Technology Managers (AUTM).

 Bryan Allinson

Bryan Allinson

Allinson comes to Ohio University from the Danville, Pa.-based Geisinger Health System, a non-profit medical institution, teaching hospital, medical diagnostics laboratory, health management organization (HMO) and research institute.  Allinson, who served as director at Geisinger Ventures, managed technology transfer and business development efforts, working closely with researchers in fields such as molecular and cell biology, cardiovascular medicine, gastroenterology, cancer/oncology, drug discovery and therapeutics, medical diagnostics, medical devices, software, health services and insurance and other areas, with support from federal, state and industry programs. He also supported the formation and growth of start-up ventures that leveraged key assets and technology licensed from Geisinger.

Allinson previously worked for the Carnegie Mellon University Office of Technology Transfer and Enterprise Creation and its Donald H. Jones Center for Entrepreneurship, Innovation Works (a Ben Franklin partner) and the biotech start-up firm Agentase (a University of Pittsburgh spin-off), which developed a platform enzyme polymer technology aimed at new homeland security/safety testing and medical diagnostics products and services. Allinson holds an M.B.A from Carnegie Mellon University and dual bachelor’s degrees in chemical engineering and chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh.

“Bryan Allinson has the experience in and enthusiasm for commercializing new technologies and developing business start-ups that can benefit the regional, state and national economy,” said Rathindra Bose, vice president for research and dean of the Graduate College at Ohio University. “I’m confident that he can help us move our technology transfer operation forward in the next few years.”

In his new role, Allinson will work with Ohio University faculty, staff and students to determine the market for inventions, file patents applications and forge licensing agreements with companies that can commercialize the technologies. His goal is to bring technologies to the marketplace that can improve the lives of Americans—from new medical treatments to green energy innovations to computer software, among other areas.

“One big attraction for me is Ohio University’s creative and entrepreneurial culture and community, where faculty members can create new inventions to improve society through ingenuity, creativity and innovation,” said Allinson, who added that he also was drawn by the high quality of life and low cost of living in southeastern Ohio.

In fiscal year 2009, Ohio University faculty made 39 invention disclosures to the Technology Transfer Office, submitted 42 patent applications and received three patents for technologies in transportation, alternative energy and nanoscience. The institution reported $6.9 million in licensing revenue, and anticipates reaching $8 million in income this year.

Much of the revenue stems from a license to the Pfizer corporation for a growth hormone antagonist developed by scientist John Kopchick. The discovery became the basis for the drug Somavert, a treatment for people with acromegaly, a growth hormone disorder that can cause excessive growth of organs and bones in adults and can lead to premature death. Other income comes from transportation and energy technologies in the Russ College of Engineering and Technology.

In addition to its success in technology commercialization, Ohio University has a track record in biotechnology business start-ups. It supported the development of Diagnostic Hybrids, Inc., which is based on faculty research. Diagnostic Hybrids recognized $38 million in revenue in 2008 and employs more than 200 workers in Athens, Ohio. In January, the Quidel Corporation announced its purchase of Diagnostic Hybrids, and Ohio University anticipates receipt of $35 to $41 million in revenue from the sale. Three other spin-off companies—DiAthegen, Promiliad, Interthyr—are in the process of creating new biomedical products based on Ohio University inventions.

The Technology Transfer Office is part of a larger research commercialization and economic development program within the Vice President for Research division that includes the Edison Biotechnology Institute and the Innovation Center, Ohio University’s small business incubator. In addition, the office works with university partners such as the new Center for Entrepreneurship to foster business growth. The center’s students will have an opportunity to work with technology transfer staff to develop business plans around new technologies, key assets for growth and innovation and seeding entrepreneurial start-ups.

The Technology Transfer Office is located at 344 W. State St. in Athens, Ohio, and can be found online at www.ohio.edu/research/tto.

Contacts: Bryan Allinson, (740) 593-0976, allinson@ohio.edu; Andrea Gibson, (740) 597-2166, gibsona@ohio.edu.