A major step in commercializing the groundbreaking research of Dr. Doris Taylor was achieved recently when the University of Minnesota signed an exclusive, global license agreement with Miromatrix Medical Inc. Dr. Taylor's research garnered worldwide attention in 2008 when her team announced that it had created a beating animal heart in her laboratory.
The technology licensed to Miromatrix holds the promise of one day enabling the replacement of entire human organs with non-transplantable organs, harvested from either animals or donors, which are stripped of their cells and recellularized with cells from the recipient or compatible donor cells.
"This is a major step forward for our technology commercialization efforts," said Tim Mulcahy, the University's vice president for research. "We took a methodical approach to this start-up and licensing agreement due to the tremendous potential of Dr. Taylor's research which, we believe, holds the potential to launch an entirely new industry on the scale of the medical device industry."
The agreement, negotiated by the university's Office for Technology Commercialization, includes equity for the university as well as future royalty and sublicensing fees.
"Miromatrix intends to commercialize a series of products based upon Dr. Taylor's platform as efficiently as possible, utilizing our own internal development as well as external collaborations," said CEO Robert Cohen. "Dr. Taylor's close involvement with the company will be tremendously beneficial as we ramp up this development effort."
Cohen joined Miromatrix as CEO in mid-November 2009. He was vice president of business and technology development at St. Jude Medical, and a former CEO of Travanti Pharma Inc. and Advanced Circulatory Systems, Inc., after holding top positions with the Pfizer Hospital Products Group and Sulzer Medica. Once Cohen joined the company, he and the University worked quickly to iron out the business and legal terms in the license agreement.
According to Cohen, Miromatrix expects to complete its initial round of financing in the next few months.
For background about researcher Doris Taylor and a video about creating a heart in the lab.: http://www.