Turning Ideas into Opportunities
Monthly news & updates

April 5, 2021
‘Friendly’ bacteria may impact COVID severity
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has awarded Vanderbilt University Medical Center a two-year, $3.7-million contract to determine genetic and bacterial factors that may increase the risk for severe illness and death from COVID-19.
The “multi-omic” investigation will determine how the severity of COVID-19 disease may be affected by patients’ genetic makeup and by the bacteria that live in their airways, their “respiratory microbiome.”

In a paper published last month, VUMC researchers reported that the COVID-19 virus, SARS-CoV-2, interacts with respiratory bacteria in ways that potentially may worsen symptoms.

The CDC-funded project also will genotype, or determine the genetic sequence of, SARS-CoV-2 isolated from nasal swabs collected from 5,000 infected patients at VUMC to determine the presence of any COVID-19 variants.

The researchers hope that by understanding these interacting factors, they will be able to predict which patients are likely to become seriously ill or not respond to antiviral treatments including antibody therapy. The ultimate goal is to translate improved diagnosis into more effective treatments and better outcomes.
Seven Vanderbilt technologies earn patent protection in March
Weekly Interactions
Below is a sampling of the interactions that have taken place in our office and with our staff over the last month.
  • Attended the Association for University Technology Managers (AUTM) meeting to market technologies to companies and for professional development

  • Attended the Ancora quarterly Joint Steering Committee meeting

  • Attended a Nashville Technology Council Webinar: State of Middle TN Tech 2020 Report

  • Attended a webinar presented by Innovosource related to Philips interest in Image-Guided Therapy Devices

  • Attended Vanderbilt Office of Immersion: Research exploration event

  • Attended TN HIMSS webinar on FHIR standards for biomedical informatics applications 

  • Attended the Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council Annual Meeting featuring keynote speaker, Vanessa Chan from the Department of Energy

  • Attended the Inflight 2020-21 event hosted by the Nashville Entrepreneur Center

  • Attended the March Nashville Health Care Council Speed Networking event

  • Attended Nashville Health Care Brass Tacks series event featuring Jeff Balser, President and CEO of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

  • Attended the March edition of the Wond’ry Innovation Open Mic pitch event

  • Attended Life Science Tennessee Lunch & Networking event

  • Attended the 2021 the BioTN Academic Alliance Scipreneur Challenge

  • Attended a webinar on the Future of Company Culture and Succession in a WFH Environment

  • Attended the Launch Tennessee Campus Roundtable: Spring 2021

  • Attended the Vanderbilt Owen School Entrepreneurship Conference 2021
  • Executed an NDA with a user interface company and an integrated electronics company to facilitate a collaboration with Karl Zelik in Mechanical Engineering

  • Executed an NDA with a company specializing in synthetic tissues to discuss a technology developed by Galen Perdikis of the Department of Plastic Surgery

  • Executed an amendment to an exclusive license with a large educational technology publishing company to commercialize additional training curriculum developed by Maie El-Sourady and colleagues from the Department of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics

  • Executed an NDA with a leading healthcare company for an adjustable ultrasound arm developed by Rajnish Gupta from the Department of Anesthesiology

  • Finalized an exclusive license agreement with a company for the development of therapeutic antibodies for COVID-19 created in the Vanderbilt Vaccine Center under the leadership of James E. Crowe, Jr

  • Executed an exclusive option with a startup company for the microbiome technology developed by Feng Yan of the Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition

  • Held a call with two venture capital groups interested in early-stage technologies being developed at Vanderbilt University and Medical Center

  • Hosted a call with a Korean startup incubator company interested in the anti-cancer compounds developed by Stephen Fesik and William Tansey of the departments of Biochemistry and Cell and Developmental Biology, respectively

  • Held a call with Patrick Kennedy from Nationwide Children’s Hospital regarding Vanderbilt’s approach to managing equity in start-up licenses

  • Held a variety of calls with a large corporation interested in a potential collaboration with Vanderbilt around medical devices and diagnostics with a wide range of faculty in the engineering and medical schools

  • Held a call with colleagues at the University of Kentucky regarding the proposed Endless Frontiers Act

  • Held a call with a southeast investor to pitch two startups spun out of Vanderbilt, SkyNano and AbSeek Bio

  • Held meeting of CTTC’s Entrepreneurship Advisory Council

  • Engaged in discussions with a group exploring the possibility of developing a life sciences business incubator in Middle Tennessee
  • Moderated and participated in a panel discussion about streamlining material transfer agreement (MTA) processing and their role in faculty service

  • CTTC assisted in the judging of student projects for the Department of Mechanical Engineering’s senior design projects

  • Interviewed candidates for an IP/transactional attorney position for the Office of General Counsel

  • Interviewed candidates for the Director of Foundation Relations position for the Office of the Vice Provost for Research

  • Participated in the Life Science Tennessee Virtual Economic Development Committee Meeting

  • Participated in the I-Corps Spring 2021 Cohort with a Vanderbilt startup company
Technology Pipelines

It is a listing of fully human antibodies by target disease, availability by field, and stage of development. Links to scientific publications are also included.
View our updated Medical Device Pipeline.

The catalogue highlights medical device technologies currently in the pipeline for commercialization at Vanderbilt University. This Pipeline has more than 100 technologies in 12 categories from 40 research groups.

The catalog has more than 60 small molecule therapeutics, 35 biologics and 7 biomarkers that are currently in Vanderbilt's pipeline.