The agreement centers on a portfolio of monoclonal antibodies -- specialized proteins that bind to specific biological molecules -- that were developed at the UO. Researchers and drug companies around the world now use the licensed antibodies to study disorders such as diabetes, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases, cancer and variety of rare but debilitating genetic disorders.
Under the agreement, the University of Oregon will maintain its pre-existing equity position in MitoSciences and will receive royalties on patent-related sales and fixed, quarterly cash payments that could total $4.6 million should the company elect to continue to support its distribution of the antibodies over the next decade.
The university will transfer to MitoSciences several commercial distribution agreements through which the UO previously delivered antibodies to life-science researchers.
MitoSciences also will be responsible for on-going maintenance, production and future distribution of the antibodies. The company also will receive exclusive commercialization rights for a portfolio of related UO biological assets, plus an exclusive license under several university patents that cover the use of monoclonal antibodies that recognize mitochondrial antigens.
"The University of Oregon has been a valued supporter of MitoSciences," said MitoSciences President Jean-Paul Audette, "and this agreement provides us with access to technology that will allow MitoSciences to continue to concentrate on research and development, and which we hope will have benefits for the diagnosis and treatment of diseases with metabolic etiologies."
The UO monoclonal antibodies covered in the agreement help to provide insights into the health and function of mitochondria, the microscopic energy factories that power human and animal cells. Creation of these antibodies resulted from a longstanding scientific collaboration between Roderick Capaldi, an internationally-recognized researcher at the UO's Institute of Molecular Biology, and Michael Marusich, director of the UO's Monoclonal Antibody Facility.