OTT30: Monetization

2015 marks the 30th anniversary for Emory OTT and part of that celebration includes a series of blog posts highlighting important “firsts” for the office.  This month we highlight Emory’s monetization of its FTC royalty rights, at the time the largest for a U. S. university.

Researchers at Emory invented two drugs Lamivudine (3TC) and emtricitabine (FTC) for the treatment of AIDS. In August of 2005, Emory sold its royalty rights to FTC for $540 million to Gilead Science and Royalty Pharma.OTT30 Celebration Graphic

The University’s share of the transaction was reinvested in Emory’s research and education mission following the terms of the Bayh-Dole Act. From a recent interview, Emory President James Wagner showed his deep interest and encouragement in expanding research and scientific development at Emory. He stated: “We are extremely proud of our scientists and their lifesaving and life-enhancing discoveries.” “This study illustrates once again that our nation’s long-standing and world-leading policy of investment in research through universities and other public institutions, along with the responsible use of technology transfer, delivers a tremendous return through improved health for millions, innovative technologies, economic development and training for the next generation of innovators.”

Even today, more than 90 percent of AIDS patients in the U.S. are being treated with one of these two drugs, often in new combination therapies, developed by Dennis Liotta, Raymond Schinazi, and Woo-Baeg Choi, PhDs. In 2012, the FDA approved the use of Truvada®, a combo therapy, by uninfected people at high risk for the AIDS virus as a prophylactic, becoming the first HIV drug to be approved for preventative use.

This groundbreaking drug discovery was a key component to Emory University being named a top contributor to drug discovery according to a national study in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2011

To find out more about our success stories or our current pipeline visit our website.