The three founding universities of the Florida High Tech Corridor Council – the University of Central Florida (UCF), the University of South Florida (USF) and the University of Florida (UF) – ranked for the eighth consecutive year among the “Top 100 Universities Worldwide Granted U.S. Utility Patents.”
Released by the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) and the Intellectual Property Owners Association, the latest rankings and related report are based on data from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and highlight the significant role patents play in university research and innovation.
“This accolade is not only a testament to the intelligence and ingenuity of our Corridor university researchers, but as importantly to their successful translation of research into commercialized products with direct benefits to our society,” said Corridor Council CEO Paul Sohl. “It demonstrates the potential for our 23-county region to accelerate our growth as an epicenter of transformative public-private partnerships.”
The Corridor Council helped launch the NAI from its headquarters in Tampa nearly 10 years ago and remains a major supporter today.
Together, its three universities earned a combined 267 patents in 2019, showcasing The Corridor region as a hotbed for invention and innovation. The following briefs demonstrate the types of patents that culminated in each university’s ranking.
UCF College of Medicine Assistant Professor Alicja Copik, Ph.D. and her team secured a patent for a Natural Killer (NK) cell therapy, which has the potential to save patients with blood cancer.
NK cells are a type of white blood cell known to kill tumor cells or cells infected with a virus, according to the National Cancer Institute. Copik’s team stimulated existing NK cells with nanoparticles to multiply their killing capabilities, which led to the creation of a new cell therapy. The resulting drug, K-NK002, may be used in concert with stem cell therapies to prevent bone-marrow transplant patients from relapsing.
Kiadis Pharma has licensed the technology and recently launched a Phase I clinical study with 64 patients at leading bone marrow transplant centers in the U.S.
Images courtesy of the University of Central Florida