Philip Kim is an expert in cancer-related protein interactions, but he had a lot to learn when it came to commercializing his potentially life-saving research. The associate professor of computer science and molecular genetics at the University of Toronto first filed an invention disclosure in 2014 based on a lab process related to cancer inhibitors, but ultimately decided not to push for a patent application because he sensed a lack of interest – a decision he now considers a miscalculation. Two years later, he found himself in the opposite situation. “We had already published something – a method to predict targets for antibodies – and a company approached me about licensing it. So, basically, we filed an invention disclosure after we had already published, which is not the way it’s supposed to go.” Kim’s initial missteps aren’t exactly unusual – even at U of T. Put simply: Researchers are busy, focused on their work, and can’t always be expected to know the mechanics of technology transfer. So, to help educate and improve awareness, U of T’s Innovations & Partnerships Office, or IPO, spent the past year developing two step-by-step guides to commercialization at the university.
July 27, 2018
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