Ohio State Partners with MedVax Technologies, Inc. to Bring a Cancer Peptide Vaccine to Patients

COLUMBUS, Ohio, and MIAMI, Florida–The Ohio State University, through the Ohio State Innovation Foundation, has signed an exclusive world-wide licensing agreement with MedVax Technologies, Inc., for the licensing of groundbreaking cancer peptide vaccine technologies.

The anticancer vaccine technologies are designed for the treatment and prevention of cancers associated with the HER2 protein. These include breast, ovarian, lung, colon and pancreatic cancers, and gastrointestinal stromal tumors. The commitment by MedVax will allow innovative clinical trials for various cancers to be conducted in the near future.

Development of these technologies, which took decades of research, was led by Pravin T. P. Kaumaya, PhD, a cancer researcher with The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital & Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC-James) Innate Immunity Program.

The work has been funded by nearly $15 million in grants from the National Cancer Institute and the National Institutes of Health (NIH/NCI CA 84356, NIH/NCI CA 094555, NIH/NCI CA 135608, and NIH/NIH CA 82869). Additional funding was provided by Pelotonia and Fore Cancer Research.

“We have developed and have conducted two NCI-funded, FDA-approved clinical trials at The OSUCCC – James,” says Kaumaya who also serves director of the Division of Vaccine Development and Peptide and Protein Engineering laboratory in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center and as a professor of obstetrics and gynecology, molecular and cellular biochemistry, and microbiology at Ohio State’s College of Medicine.

“Both trials have shown the candidate vaccines to be safe, and several metastatic cancer patients have obtained clinical benefit with little toxicity,” says Kaumaya, who led the development of the trial protocol, as well as development of the vaccine.

“Stimulating the body’s immune system to fight cancer is a Holy Grail of cancer research,” says Michael A. Caligiuri, MD, John L. Marakas Nationwide Insurance Enterprise Foundation Chair in Cancer Research, director of The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center and CEO of The James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute.

“These vaccine technologies developed by Dr. Kaumaya and his collaborators are a giant step in that direction. Our hope is that this partnership with MedVax Technologies will complete this effort and successfully bring these anticancer vaccines into the clinic.”

MedVax Technologies, Inc. was founded by biotech entrepreneur Robert Brooks, JD, who has extensive investment knowledge and experience in the life-science industries and is the company’s chief executive officer.

“This licensing agreement with Ohio State of a chimeric HER2 Peptide Vaccine can translate into transformational changes for the treatment and prevention of several human cancers,” Brooks says. “Partnering with Ohio State was a strong positive decision for MedVax.” As part of the license agreement, MedVax has committed to fund an efficacy trial at Ohio State in breast, ovarian and gastric cancers. The phase 1b clinical trial will involve 30-60 patients per tumor type.

“Health and Wellness” is at the forefront of Ohio State’s research agenda and identified as one of the university’s primary areas for investment and growth. Commercializing this research area has great potential for current and future patients,” says Tim Wright, vice president of technology commercialization at Ohio State.

“The agreement with MedVax to commercialize Dr. Kaumaya‘s research is one great stride further in getting these innovations into the global marketplace,” adds Wright. “These technologies possess the potential to permanently change patient lives; advancing them from the lab to the clinic would be a major win in the fight against cancer. A win everyone is working hard to see happen.”


About MedVax Technologies, Inc.

MedVax Technologies, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovery and commercializing cancer immunotherapy treatments.

About The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center

Ohio State is one of only 41 National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers and one of only seven centers funded by the NCI to conduct both phase I and phase II clinical trials. As the cancer program’s 210-bed adult patient-care component, The James is a “Top Hospital” as ranked by U.S. News & World Report.

About The Ohio State University

The Ohio State University is a dynamic community of diverse resources, where opportunity thrives and where individuals transform themselves and the world. Founded in 1870, Ohio State is a world-class public research university and the leading comprehensive teaching and research institution in the state of Ohio. With more than 63,000 students (including 57,000 in Columbus), the Wexner Medical Center, 14 colleges, 80 centers and 175 majors, the university offers its students tremendous breadth and depth of opportunity in the liberal arts, the sciences and the professions. 



Melanie Baker

Marketing and Communication Manager
Technology Commercialization Office
614.292.9839 Office

Amanda J. Harper

Director, Media Relations

The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital & Richard J. Solove Research Institute

O: 614-685-5420

C: 513-659-6847


Robert K. Brooks, JD

Chief Executive Officer

MedVax Technologies, Inc.

Tel. (305) 371-2301

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Ohio State Partners with Signet Accel LLC

Ohio State Partners with Signet Accel LLC to Accelerate Health Care Data Sharing Worldwide

Agreement includes largest up-front licensing fee

 COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio State University today announced the signing of an exclusive worldwide agreement with a new company formed by Signet Enterprises: Signet Accel LLC. The new company will license a portfolio of cutting-edge Ohio State-developed software technologies for health care data sharing and advanced analytics through the Ohio State Innovation Foundation.

Signet Accel will provide technology solutions in a variety of health care and life sciences areas. The company’s applications will enable data sharing and analytics ranging from improving the design and conduct of clinical trials to supporting quality improvement in health care delivery in the United States and throughout the world.

The agreement between Ohio State and Signet Enterprises is projected to generate several million dollars in licensing fees during the life of the agreement, as well as equity for the university. It includes the largest up-front licensing payment to Ohio State — $275,000 that already has been received from Signet Enterprises. These fees will result in direct benefit to the university and the College of Medicine.

“Most research and industry sectors see the value of leveraging big data and realize how instrumental the analysis is to the progress of our global society,” Provost Joseph Steinmetz said. “The foundation of the university’s first Discovery Themes initiative is comprised of research involving data analytics. Ohio State continues to focus on data analytics and providing opportunities for students and researchers to further explore this ever-expanding field.”

While the focus of the new company is global, the company plans to locate in central Ohio near the Ohio State campus, allowing it to take advantage of a highly skilled biomedical and computational work force being trained at the university.

Signet Accel’s technology will enable the rapid and efficient analysis of all types of health care data, allowing providers, patients and health care companies to enhance wellness and make treatment decisions based on the most current, accurate evidence.

The technologies involved in the venture were developed during the past decade by the Department of Biomedical Informatics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine, led by Philip R.O. Payne, chair of the department. Payne and Peter J. Embi, vice chair of the department, are the Ohio State faculty members who serve as co-founders of the new company.

“Our innovative technology platform allows health care organizations to share and analyze data in ways that have not previously been possible, eliminating the technical and regulatory challenges that result from trying to centralize sensitive information and enabling those entities to generate critical insights from distributed and complex data in a highly secure and on-demand manner,” Payne said.

Tim Wright, vice president of Technology Commercialization at Ohio State, called the collaboration a great example of an agreement that provides long-term value for the university and global society. “Our goal is to support Ohio State’s researchers in the commercialization process,” Wright said.

Signet Enterprises has widespread experience in business development and project and corporate financing. Signet Chairman Anthony Manna is an Ohio State alumnus.

“Signet and Ohio State share a passion for advancing faculty-developed technologies into the global marketplace,” Manna said. “The team from Signet, led by Aaron Bates (COO) and George Ammar (CFO), worked with Ohio State to advance this technology and develop a model that Ohio State and Signet will use for future opportunities.  As an Ohio State alumnus, I am very proud of this collaboration that also benefits my alma mater.”

Dave Billiter, director of the Informatics Core at The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, recently accepted the position of executive vice president of Signet Accel and will join the team at end of March.

About The Ohio State University

The Ohio State University is a dynamic community of diverse resources, where opportunity thrives and where individuals transform themselves and the world. Founded in 1870, Ohio State is a world-class public research university and the leading comprehensive teaching and research institution in the state of Ohio. With more than 63,000 students (including 57,000 in Columbus), the Wexner Medical Center, 14 colleges, 80 centers and 175 majors, the university offers its students tremendous breadth and depth of opportunity in the liberal arts, the sciences and the professions.

About Signet Enterprises:

Signet Enterprises is the 4th largest private equity firm in Ohio. Signet Enterprises unites an entrepreneurial vision with the experience to turn opportunities into realities. With decades of experience, Signet’s principals provide highly specialized knowledge and expertise in distinct disciplines including real estate development, international initiatives, start-ups, technology, and mergers & acquisitions. Signet Enterprises includes Signet Development, Signet Ventures and Signet International.

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TechColumbus and The Ohio State University Announce Technology Concept Fund

$1 Million Evergreen Fund to Commercialize Ohio State Technology

Columbus, OH (December 19, 2013) Innovations with ties to The Ohio State University will get a financial boost from the new Technology Concept Fund, LLC. The million-dollar fund includes investments from Ohio State and Ohio Third Frontier. The Technology Concept Fund will be managed by TechColumbus.

“The Technology Concept Fund will provide critical investment capital at the earliest stage and is specifically for Ohio State innovations,” said Tom Walker, TechColumbus CEO. “This fund will be an accelerator for investors and entrepreneurs who have formed companies around technologies licensed from Ohio State.”

Companies eligible for investment will have a fully executed license or an option to license the technology from Ohio State and will be clients of TechColumbus. Industry focus includes advanced materials, alternative energy, information technology and life sciences.

“The researchers at Ohio State are discovering and developing technologies that can have a significant impact on the world around us,” said Tim Wright, vice president of technology commercialization for Ohio State. “This fund will provide the essential capital support needed to advance these technologies to the next stage and ultimately move them to the market for the good of society.” Investments by the Technology Concept Fund are likely to be among the first dollars that come into these projects. While it isn’t explicitly required, it is desirable for the company to present additional validation by having additional funding from the founding entrepreneur, grants, strategic partners and/or other sources of capital.

TechColumbus and Ohio State’s Technology Commercialization Office are working proactively to identify investment opportunities. “We have a strong pipeline and two near-term deals that are in active due diligence,” Walker said.

The Concept Fund will be evergreen in nature, so that successful investments by the fund will replenish the capital available to be deployed. Investments will typically be in the form of convertible debt with a valuation cap. “We’re excited for this fund to come to fruition. TechColumbus is a logical and capable steward for this fund and a great partner to aid in advancing the university’s promising technologies,” Wright said.

The Technology Concept Fund extends TechColumbus’ continuum of capital, making it possible to invest in the youngest ventures. Additional funding options will be announced in the coming weeks.

About TechColumbus

TechColumbus, Columbus, OH, helps build and accelerate great companies by providing expert advice, access to capital, and business growth connections. We help grow the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Central Ohio by connecting entrepreneurs, advisors, resource providers, public sector entities, academia, and corporations who share startup passion. TechColumbus manages a continuum of investment funds

made possible by the participation of Ohio Third Frontier and other strategic partners. Hundreds of technology entrepreneurs and startup companies come to TechColumbus each year to receive the services and funding they need to grow into sustainable, profitable businesses.

About The Ohio State University

Ohio State is a dynamic community of diverse resources, where opportunity thrives and where individuals transform themselves and the world. Founded in 1870, The Ohio State University is a world-class public research university and the leading comprehensive teaching and research institution in the state of Ohio. With more than 63,000 students (including 57,000 in Columbus), the Wexner Medical Center, 14 colleges, 80 centers, and 175 majors, the university offers its students tremendous breadth and depth of opportunity in the liberal arts, the sciences, and the professions.

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Six Ohio State Faculty Among the 2013 Class of AAAS Fellows

Group includes executive dean of the College of Arts and Sciences

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Six Ohio State University faculty specializing in disciplines ranging from cancer treatment to number theory have been elected as Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), honored by their peers as significant contributors to the scientific community.

In all, 388 association members have been elected Fellows this year in recognition of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. New Fellows will be welcomed in a ceremony at the AAAS annual meeting in Chicago in February.

Founded in 1848, AAAS is the world’s largest general scientific society. The tradition of AAAS Fellows began in 1874.

“The consistent recognition of Ohio State scientists at this level speaks to the exceptional quality of our faculty and their important contributions in their disciplines,” said Interim President Joseph A. Alutto. “Their talent and expertise in the classroom and their research endeavors directly benefit our students, the state of Ohio, and beyond.”

Including this year’s class, Ohio State has approximately 200 AAAS Fellows – a sign of the depth and breadth of scientific expertise on the university faculty, according to Caroline Whitacre, vice president for research.

“We celebrate the recognition of these individuals by their peers and applaud the scholarship and creativity they bring to their respective fields,” Whitacre said. “From awards received, to students inspired and global challenges addressed, these Ohio State researchers are leading discovery, advancing knowledge and finding creative and collaborative ways to transform lives across the globe.”

Ohio State’s newest AAAS Fellows are:

John Freudenstein, professor of evolution, ecology and organismal biology (College of Arts and Sciences); for distinguished contributions to the study of plant evolution and systematics, especially in orchids, and administrative leadership of the university’s Herbarium.

Norman Johnson, professor of evolution, ecology and organismal biology and of entomology (Colleges of Arts and Sciences and Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences); for distinguished contributions to systematic studies of insects and for developing innovative computational tools for cataloging the distribution, history and status of the world’s biodiversity.

James Kinder, professor of animal sciences and of veterinary preventive medicine (Colleges of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and Veterinary Medicine); for distinguished contributions in reproductive endocrinology research, and as an administrator in the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

David Manderscheid, executive dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, vice provost for arts and sciences and professor of mathematics; for distinguished contributions to number theory, for outstanding service on national committees and conference organization, and for exceptional commitment to the advancement of women and minorities.

Zucai Suo, professor of chemistry and biochemistry (College of Arts and Sciences); for distinguished contributions to the field of nucleic acid enzymology, particularly for pre-steady state kinetic and protein conformational dynamic studies of DNA polymerases.

Miguel Villalona-Calero, professor of internal medicine and of pharmacology and division director of medical oncology (College of Medicine, Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute); for distinguished contributions in the field of experimental therapeutics, developing novel therapeutics and conducting clinical trials for translational research in cancer patients.


Contact: Emily Caldwell, (614) 292-8310;

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Commercialization for Researchers Course

Commercialization for Researchers

VETBIOS 8855                  2 CREDIT HRS                   SPRING

There is a new Graduate course now offered at The Ohio State University for researchers who are interested in learning more about Commercialization!

One of the missions of the Research University is to discover and transfer knowledge for the betterment of society. Commercialization of faculty or student inventions is one recognized method for the transfer of knowledge to improve lives. Commercialization is an area of emphasis for universities and granting agencies to improve adoption of new technologies in the private sector and attain the maximal benefit of research discoveries for society.

Graduate students are likely to be involved with new discoveries and inventions in their research projects. It is necessary for graduate students to understand the purpose and methods of commercialization so that they can position their potential inventions for maximal impact. This course will be useful to graduate students in the health sciences, engineering, and physical sciences.

View course details – VETBIOS 8855

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Ohio State students compete to be the BOSS of BOSS

Ohio State’s student movers and shakers gathered together last night at the Technology Commercialization Office to see who would take the top prize at the BOSS Competition. The finale of Ohio State’s BOSS program kicked off at 5:00 pm in front of an audience comprised of University and Central Ohio Community members to compete for top prizes, additional startup services, and recognition for their startup companies.

BOSS is a semester long program where student teams pitch their ideas repeatedly to a panel of judges, are given assignments and tweaks to make on their ideas, and return to pitch again. These pitch sessions take place three times during the program, with fewer teams advancing to each round, and culminated in last night’s pitch event and awards.

Majors from all over campus—Industrial and Systems Engineering, Biology, Business, Communications,  and Computer Science & Engineering—all came together to pitch their ideas and receive feedback and guidance from a distinguished judges’ panel of industry experts. The stellar panel of judges were Michael Camp, Michael Butler, Will Indest, Ron Kesselman, Paul Reeder, Austin Miller, and Vic Thorne.



After five excellent pitches, the team that received the top prize and full access to TCO services was Buckeye Dine, founded by Christina Steiner a freshman Industrial and Systems Engineering major and Nicholas Musgrave, a freshman Biology major.  Buckeye Dine is a smartphone application totally attributed to campus food at Ohio State. The most important feature of the Buckeye Dine application is a live wait time updater. This app feature is updated by students who are currently in line waiting to get food in an effort to let other hungry Buckeyes know what wait times are the shortest. Other features include menus, nutrition facts, maps, and location services.


A close runner up was SimpleList, a task manager smartphone application that is driven by gestures already known to people who use iOS 7. Simple List includes freedom for users, as opposed to locking users into the app’s pattern. Although Megan Holstein is new to Ohio State as a freshman Business major, she’s a veteran startup founder who’s had much success with her first venture, Pufferfish Software created for specifically for special needs children.

The other five teams who made it to the BOSS finalist stage include the following:


Phoenix Entertainment, created by Chris Beckman, a Communication major, is comprised of applications that interact through both computer based and smartphone based platforms intended for entertainment and media companies to revitalize and rejuvenate older media while realizing new revenue.


Tunu, created by Drew Lehman, a Mechanical Engineering major and Quentin Bowden, an Industrial Systems and Engineering major, connects consumers with existing 3D printing infrastructure. Tunu’s goal is to empower Ohio State student organizations, fraternities, sororities and philanthropies with accessible and affordable 3D printing solutions.


WindowShopp, founded by Sid Gowda, Computer Science and Engineering major, is a local mobile commerce application for smartphones that utilizes verified profiles to enhance the trust and credibility between the buyer and seller. Additional features include a geolocation feature to find items nearby and an in-app messaging feature to contact the other party. The end-users of WindowShopp are going to be college students, as well as people using Craigslist as a business.

Think you have what it takes to be the next BOSS? Contact Krystal Geyer, for more information on the next BOSS program.

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Hesham El Gamal, M. Monica Giusti, and Kinshuk Mitra named 2013 Innovators of the Year

As Ohio State continues to expand its role in the commercialization of research, it is important that we create an environment that facilitates and rewards research creativity and entrepreneurship. To support and stimulate entrepreneurial activity among our researchers, three university-wide awards were presented on November 6, 2013, to our most successful faculty, staff, and student entrepreneurs.

Read full story at

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