Temple University‘s 12 active spinout startups have raised $336 million total in the past 15 years, according to Stephen Nappi, who leads Temple’s tech transfer office. Companies formed in the last three years have raised $2.5 million, he said.
Temple “spinouts” refer to companies that have been launched for the sole purpose of bringing Temple-developed technology to market. The university has generally has equity in its spinout companies. It’s one type of “tech transfer,” or the process through which universities aim to commercialize research.
More than half of the 12 spinout startups are based on research from Temple’s School of Medicine, according to data from Temple’s tech transfer office. It’s a similar case at Penn, where 75 percent of the 82 faculty members working on spinout startups are from Penn’s medical school.
One of the school’s biggest successes is Onconova Therapeutics, a 15-year-old Newtown, Pa. biopharma company developing cancer treatment based on work by a former Temple School of Medicine researcher. It’s a big contributor to that $336 million number of total funds raised by spinout companies. It raised nearly $70 million in 2012, a European company agreed to pay at least $50 million for the European rights to the Onconova’s anti-cancer drug and it recently went public.
All but two of the 12 startups were formed in the last five years, Nappi said, in part because that’s when Temple began pushing tech transfer in this direction. The same goes for Penn, who established a program called UPstart to help faculty members develop startups based on their research. Spinout startups act a a way to raise funding to further research, Nappi said.
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