Harvard University, Nanosys, and Vista Therapeutics Signs Agreement Related to the Use of Nanowires for Biosensors

Published on February 20, 2009 at 6:26 PM

Harvard University's Office of Technology Development (OTD), Nanosys, Inc., and Vista Therapeutics, Inc. today announced that Vista has signed License Agreements with both Harvard University and Nanosys covering several patents and patent applications related to the use of nanowires for biosensors.

The core intellectual property (IP) involves a wide range of applications in nanotechnology, nanomaterials and the use of nanowire-based field effect transistors (FETs) as biosensors, all of which were derived from the work of Dr. Charles Lieber, a professor of Chemistry at Harvard, and a pioneer in nanotechnology.

Under terms of the agreements, Vista has secured the exclusive, worldwide rights for the use of nanowires for detection of biomarkers associated with organ or tissue damage, and any form of treatment or therapeutics-associated adverse response(s). In consideration, Harvard and Nanosys have received an equity position in Vista, as well as upfront license and downstream royalty payments.

While Harvard and Nanosys each own extensive portfolios of IP around multiple aspects of nanotechnology including basic nanowire compositions, nanowire synthesis and the use of nanowires and other nanostructures for many applications, Vista will focus its attention on the use of nanowire-based FETs as highly sensitive sensors of biomolecules. The power of Lieber's nanotechnology inventions is that they permit continuous and real-time monitoring of multiple biomarkers in blood and urine. Vista plans to manufacture and sell nanowires that are formatted to provide real-time, continuous measurement of blood and urinary biomarkers of organ and tissue injury.

"Just as EKG instruments allow physicians to continuously monitor a patient's heart function, the broad nanowire IP portfolio acquired in these agreements will allow Vista to commercialize and market its NanoBioSensor™ platform that enables physicians, clinicians and pharmaceutical researchers to continuously monitor, on a real-time basis, a wide variety of blood and urinary biomarkers that will be transformational to patient care," according to Dr. Spencer Farr, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Vista.

"The potential to commercialize this portfolio of nanowire technologies is quite significant and could fundamentally reshape approaches to the monitoring of medical emergency situations," said Isaac T. Kohlberg, Harvard University's Senior Associate Provost and Chief Technology Development Officer. "Working together with Nanosys to license these patents to Vista, we're able to move the technology forward and give it every opportunity to evolve from initial laboratory findings to commercial applications, which will benefit society. We're excited to be working in concert with both companies as they grow as leaders in their respective fields."

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.

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