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Commercial Success: UMB Researcher-Developed BCRP Patent Portfolio Licensed Three Times in 2013

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

- Portfolio Licensed 16 Times to Date, with Usage Spanning 10 Countries and Including Two Large Multinational Pharmaceutical Companies -

Resistance to a disease's typical drug protocol regimen is the single most important cause of cancer treatment failure. It is a huge burden to patients, healthcare practitioners and providers, and to society in general. Typically, the resistance-causing culprit is a transmembrane glycoprotein, which is not capable of conferring drug resistance by itself, but imparts resistance to drug action by pumping the drug out of the cell.

Breast Cancer Resistance protein (BCRP) is a 655 amino-acid polypeptide capable of causing resistance to several cancer drugs. A University of Maryland, Baltimore Greenebaum Cancer Center research team led by Douglas Ross, M.D., Ph.D., discovered BCRP in 1997. Soon after its discovery, Dr. Ross and his team began their mission to understand the role of BCRP protein in cancer resistance. Dr. Ross’s team has since generated antibodies against the BCRP protein, and it has been an invaluable tool to scientists in their quest to understand mechanisms of drug resistance.

The UM Baltimore Office of Technology Transfer executed three new licenses for the patent portfolio related to BCRP in 2013 – with 16 licenses issued to date, and the portfolio continues to generate revenue for the University. Two of the world’s top pharmaceutical companies are using BCRP reagents for drug development and several large to mid-size biotechnology firms have licensed BCRP products to provide drug development contract research services and/or sell these tools for university laboratory research.

With continued corporate interest in 2014, the BCRP patent portfolio continues to generate licensing interest from companies across the globe.