Triptorelin, better known by the brand name Trelstrar, is a widely used prescription medication to treat prostate cancer. The drug was originally developed in the lab of Andrew V. Schally, who was an endocrinologist at Tulane University School of Medicine at the time. The technology transfer unit at Tulane helped move Schally’s discovery from the lab to the marketplace, and now that unit is expanding to better meet the increasing needs of researchers across the university. The department has also facilitated numerous contracts with industry, and the intellectual property protection and license agreements that generated the start-up companies AxoSim and BioAesthethics, among others.
Having recently evolved once again to better serve faculty at Tulane, the technology transfer function is now known as the Office of Intellectual Property Management (OIPM), and is responsible for all early-stage inventions developed at Tulane. Matt Koenig, JD, CLP, recently joined OIPM as its inaugural executive director after 13 years in progressive technology transfer leadership roles at the University of Kansas. The functions of the OIPM now include invention intake, patentability assessments, IP protection, and licensing. It also handles research partnering agreements, NDAs, data use agreements, and more to facilitate a strong research enterprise that can generate even more transformational innovations that benefit society.
The OIPM team works together with other departments at Tulane, such as the Innovation Institute and the School of Medicine’s own Research Business Development function, to ensure these early-stage inventions move forward successfully. James Zanewicz, CBO of Tulane School of Medicine, commented on the new direction for the office: “We are fortunate to have someone with the experience and passion Matt Koenig has for technology transfer to re-envision the OIPM, and help our faculty ensure their research moves outside of the lab and into a real-world application. I think it will be an incredible and potentially career-making opportunity for anyone fortunate enough to join his team.”
Tulane University School of Medicine saw a 42.6% increase in total research awards between FY 2022 and this fiscal year. Between the busy Tulane Medicine labs and the creation of the Tulane University Innovation Institute, Koenig knows it’s time for his office to expand.
“We’re adding positions and splitting up the functions in each role because I want people in our office to be specialized and focused on serving particular needs in the research community,” said Koenig. “The hope is faculty will see certain expertise develop, turn times for agreements improve, and a more thoughtful and thorough process for invention disclosure leading to IP protection and possible licensing.”
Detailed descriptions for each job, and how to apply, can be found through these links.