Temple University Opens Early Stage Biotech Incubator

Stephanie Baum (Philadelphia, PA) –

A university is offering early stage companies from its academic community office space in an incubator as the institution doubles its technology transfer office staff.

Philadelphia-based Temple University has opened an office in the University City Science Center that serves as an incubator for many life science and technology companies. So far, it is negotiating with two startup companies for office space: a nanotechnology company, Pure Nano, and a cancer therapeutics business.

Stephen Nappi, director of technology transfer and commercialization operations, declined to say how many companies it’s seeking, but said it would be “a flexible office space” and “the university has a pipeline of potential companies that it would see as a good fit for the space.”

He added that in exchange for using the office space, startup companies would have an extra fee added to their licensing agreements with the technology transfer office, depending on how frequently they use the space. “This is really an ideal environment for these companies to thrive,” Nappi said.

Nappi added: “More universities are certainly moving in the direction to better support the commercialization of their discoveries and that includes incubation space for any spin-out companies to establish and grow.”

The technology transfer office revenue has grown in the past two years from $300,000 in 2009 to $2.5 million in 2011, said Nappi. Last year, it signed 25 licensing agreements led by two key deals — one for cancer therapeutics and the other in the oil and gas industry. Nappi attributed the growth to increases in new discoveries coming into the technology transfer office and the university increasing its capabilities to develop and make the technology more attractive through proof-of-concept mechanisms.

Temple just hired a technology commercialization staffer and will add another one in the next two months, which will bring the technology transfer office to a staff of four.

Stephanie Baum is the Philadelphia Bureau Chief for MedCityNews.com, where this article originally appeared.

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