Arizona State University (ASU) has decided to sign a licensing agreement for the results of several biotech research projects with Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche. The company, based in Basel, Switzerland, is currently the largest biotech firm in the world, with several global sites in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, China, Brazil and many more.
While Arizona State University is a public research university with over 70,000 students enrolled in 2010. The technologies which will be licensed from ASU include technology for a DNA sequencing system which was developed in collaboration with scientists at Columbia University.
The licensing deal will provide additional revenue for the ASU biotech team, which is also benefiting from a $5 million National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant. The grant was intended to help the researchers construct a prototype of the DNA sequencing device, with a goal of increasing its capacity to read DNA molecules much faster than the current rate. Roche may be able to commercialize the device in cost effective chips for DNA sequencing.
Neither party is disclosing financial deals of the licensing agreement at this time. The agreement is the latest step in an ongoing relationship between the two companies, which has resulted in the licensing of five different ASU patent applications over the years. The school is known for its advanced biotech research, and it even has its own technology transfer division known as Arizona Technology Enterprises.
This organization has invested over $100,000 in the DNA sequencing technology, so the licensing agreement represents a return on this investment. The biotech development team at ASU is headed up by Dr. Stuart Lindsay who is working on the DNA sequencing technology in collaboration with Dr. Colin Nuckolls of Columbia. The agreement represents a growth opportunity for Roche to add to its annual sales of over $50 billion.