Adam Stoten is the new COO of Oxford University Innovation. Philip caught up with him at BioTrinity in London to talk about tech transfer.
Both from academic and industrial perspectives, tech transfer has a reputation for being an onerous process. But some organizations are working steadfastly to streamline it with great success, like Oxford University Innovation. Philip interviewed its COO, Adam Stoten, to hear more.
“The UK is performing very well in terms of tech transfer at the moment,” Stoten says. “If you take ourselves [at Oxford], Cambridge, Imperial, they compare very well to the US in terms of metrics. In terms of why it’s performing well, it has the benefits..of government support and research councils, particularly in terms of providing funding to bridge the old cliché, the Valley of Death, to get technologies to the point where we can find a partner.”
He also mentioned institutional support, which, he says, enables the universities to invest in tech transfer infrastructure. He names ETH Zurich and KU Leuven as “world class outfits” that speak to Europe’s aptitude for tech transfer, but emphasises that this level is not consistent throughout the continent.
Stoten also commented on the progress of Lab282, Oxford’s partnership with Evotec to “pull drug discovery out of basic research,” as he describes. “It’s going well so far! We announced the first funded programs earlier in the year, we’re in the process of putting together the applicants for the second round, and over the course of the three years, we hope to fund between 30 and 40 different projects with the end result of new biotech companies being created around those programs.”
His favorite biotech success story? NightstaRx, working on therapies for retinal dystrophies. Watch the video above to hear why!