March 17-18, 2005

 

ITEM 126-1001-R0305                Approval of University System/Employee Joint Venture Under MUSP 407; The University of Montana-Missoula

 

THAT:                                      In accordance with Montana University System Policy 407, the Board of Regents of Higher Education authorizes The University of Montana-Missoula to enter into agreements for use on University facilities and a licensing arrangement for intellectual property developed by University employees David J. Poulsen, Peter G. Von Doersten, and Diana Lurie.  The agreements will be between the University and a Montana corporation (Big Sky Biotechnology, LLC), in which the above named University employees have a significant financial interest. 

                                     

EXPLANATION:                        These University employees, from the Department of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, have and are developing novel Adeno-Associated virus to deliver therapeutic genes to the human cochlea for the purpose of regenerating hair cells in the treatment of hearing loss. 

 

The license, exclusive and worldwide, would contain provisions for The University of Montana to receive a fees and royalties, based on a percentage of gross revenues realized from commercial applications. The license will contain a standard diligence clause stating that The University of Montana may terminate if Big Sky Biotechnology, LLC does not proceed in a timely fashion to exploit commercially the rights granted in the license.  Inasmuch as this is a new start-up company without facilities, it may wish to negotiate agreements with The University of Montana for rental of laboratory space and certain scientific equipment, under terms and conditions that are consistent with University policy and Montana State law.  Once the company is established it will obtain suitable facilities elsewhere, such as in MonTEC.

 

Granting this license and allowing negotiations for rental of University facilities will provide opportunities for commercialization of these valuable and useful recombinant viruses.  The license agreement for patent rights will include license fees, provisions for reimbursement of patent costs and royalties on sales of products to the University.  Furthermore, it will allow these scientists to develop the company as a new, profitable Montana venture and will set an example for other entrepreneurs from the University looking for opportunities for commercial use of their innovations and creations. The University will incur no cost for this agreement and future financial returns to the University could exceed $100,000 annually. This agreement will assist in the formation and growth of a new small business for Montana and will establish goodwill with University employees.

 

ATTACHMENTS:                        Joint Venture Submission Form

Generic License Agreement