Innovation Works, the state-funded startup investment organization in Western Pennsylvania, recently announced that its AlphaLab and AlphaLab Gear software and hardware startup accelerators, respectively, will be increasing their investments into new cohort companies from $50,000 to $100,000 in the form of a convertible note plus 2% common equity, upon completion of milestone goals during the accelerator program. We caught up with Jim Jenn, IW's chief operating officer, to learn more about the about the change.
Pitt Innovators were issued 10 patents in August 2022. Featured patent: 11,406,736 “Vascular Extracellular Matrix Hydrogel” Extracellular matrix (ECM) bioscaffolds are tissue-specific biomaterials with inherent bioactivity and native structural features that enable their use as three-dimensional in vitro cell culture substrates for biologic discovery of cellular mechanisms or as disease models. Certain decellularized tissues also show promise for therapeutic tissue regeneration in a variety of applications as they retain proteins that enhance cellular adhesion and invoke signaling to influence cellular differentiation and regenerative potential. Pitt innovators led by Julie Phillippi, associate professor of cardiothoracic surgery and bioengineering, have developed ECM compositions useful as in vitro cell culture substrates or in vivo biomaterials for tissue repair in cardiovascular applications. This invention embodies a method wherein decellularized ECMs from blood vessels (e.g. porcine or human aorta adventitia in one aspect) that are formulated into hydrogels that can be used as substrates for in vitro cell culture and in vivo tissue regeneration. For more information on this technology, including licensing inquiries, contact Alex Ducruet at firstname.lastname@example.org. Below is a listing of all patents issued to Pitt innovators in August 2022. Title Inventor(s) Licensing Manager Status Vascular Extracellular Matrix Hydrogel Julie Phillippi; Thomas Gleason; George Fercana; Stephen Badylak Alex Ducruet Available for Licensing Activators of CXCR3 for the Treatment of Angiopathies of the Eye Alan Wells; Cecelia Yates-Binder; Joel Schuman Janice Panza Licensed Methods for Preparation of a Terminally Sterilized Hydrogel Derived From Extracellular Matrix Timothy Keane Jr.; Stephen Badylak; Christopher Dearth; Neill Turner Alex Ducruet Licensed Artificial Cell Constructs for Cellular Manipulation Steven Little Janice Panza Optioned Compositions and Methods for Treatment of Inflammatory Disorders David Hackam; Peter Wipf; Chhinder Sodhi Maria Vanegas Available for Licensing Spak Kinase Inhibitors as Neuroprotective Agents Mohammad Bhuiyan; Dandan Sun; Xianming Deng; Jinwei Zhang; Brandley Molyneaux Maria Vanegas Available for Licensing Analysis of Eye and Pupil Movement Coordination in Vergence Testing for Detection of Acute MTBI Carey David Balaban; Alexander Kiderman; Michael Hoffer; Mikhaylo Szczupak Robert Racunas Available for Licensing Identification of Mutations in Herpes Simplex Virus Envelope Glycoproteins That Enable or Enhance Vector Retargeting to Novel Non-HSV Receptors Justus Cohen; Joseph Glorioso; Hioaki Uchida Maria Vanegas Licensed DNA Nanostructure Patterned Templates Haitao Liu; Hyo Kim; Cheng Tian George Coulston Not Available Expression of NKG2D Activating Ligand Proteins for Sensitizing Cancer Cells to Attack by Cytotoxic Immune Cells Paola Grandi; Ndukaku Amankulor; Joseph Glorioso Maria Vanegas Licensed
Experienced patent examiners from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) visited the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship's brand new Big Idea Center for student innovation recently to give a presentation on the patent process, in which they provided an insightful overview of how the patent office works and shared tips on the optimum approach to applying for a patent. You weren't able to make it? That's OK. We recorded it for you. So if you have a discovery that you want to file patent protection for, check out the presentation, which includes questions from some of the Pitt innovators in attendance.
The last time we checked in on Pitt startup Lumis Corp. it was still a one-man show and seeking its first customers. As we catch up with the company today it has a new CEO that is not necessarily new the company, several paying customers, and is seeking an investment round to accelerate its growth.
Leading up to the fireworks that boom and echo across the hills and valleys of Western Pennsylvania on the Fourth of July, a group of Pitt innovators were busy determining whether their discoveries might make a huge impact on people’s lives.