Research Communications

Ohio University is top Ohio public school for research royalty income, national study finds 


ATHENS, Ohio (Feb. 16, 2010) — Ohio University is the top public university in the state of Ohio for licensing revenue generated from its research discoveries, according to a new study. The institution also is one of the top universities in the nation for research return on investment.

Ohio University reported licensing revenue of $5.8 million in fiscal year 2008. Most of the royalty income stems from a license to the Pfizer corporation for a growth hormone antagonist developed by John Kopchick, Goll Ohio Professor of molecular biology in the College of Osteopathic Medicine and principal investigator at the Edison Biotechnology Institute. 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.
 kopchick_lab

Much of Ohio
 University's royalty income stems from a license to the Pfizer corporation
 for a growth hormone antagonist developed by John Kopchick, Goll Ohio 
Professor of molecular biology in the College of Osteopathic Medicine and
 principal investigator at the Edison Biotechnology Institute. Photo 
courtesy of College of Osteopathic Medicine.

The university’s licensing revenue places the institution only second to Case Western Reserve University, a private school that reported $13.2 million, in the state of Ohio overall, according to a new report by the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) that examined fiscal year 2008 licensing revenue and patent activity at 191 colleges and universities across the United States.

Other public institutions that reported licensing revenue included Ohio State University ($2.1 million), University of Akron ($1.1 million), Miami University ($1 million), University of Toledo ($696,000), University of Cincinnati ($582,000), Kent State ($351,000) and Bowling Green State University ($8,000), according to the AUTM report.

In addition, Ohio University is one of the top institutions in the nation for research return on investment, based on its royalty income received per research dollars spent ($26 million for fiscal year 2008), the study shows. Forbes magazine recently ranked the university fourth in the nation in this category as well.

Ohio University’s royalty income has continued to climb since the fiscal year 2008 reporting period. In fiscal year 2009, it reached $6.9 million, and income is expected to top $8 million for 2010. In addition to the income it receives from Somavert, Ohio University receives licensing revenue for alternative energy and air pollution mitigation technologies developed by faculty in the Russ College of Engineering and Technology.

“Ohio University is committed to supporting a strong program of moving innovations from the laboratory to the marketplace,” said Rathindra Bose, vice president for research and dean of the Graduate College at Ohio University. “Successful technology commercialization can be a win for the faculty, the university and the regional and state economy.”

Through the efforts of its Technology Transfer Office, Innovation Center, Edison Biotechnology Institute and research administration staff across the institution, Ohio University actively encourages faculty to develop and market new technologies, Bose said. Last year, the vice president for research created the Technology Gap Fund to further advance innovations by faculty who have applied for U.S. patents and demonstrated the potential commercial market for their concepts.

In addition to its success in technology commercialization, Ohio University has a track record in biotechnology business start-ups as well. 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.

Ohio University’s technology transfer success in the area of biotechnology also is one of several highlights in its proposal to the state of Ohio for a Center of Excellence in Health and Wellness.

Contacts: Andrea Gibson, director of research communications, (740) 597-2166, gibsona@ohio.edu; Renea Morris, executive director of communications and marketing, (740) 593-2200, morrisr@ohio.edu.