Winter 2015-2016

NU Innovation Recognition in the News 

Prof. Jia xi ng Huang (McC) and his team have developed a lubricant additive that outperforms commercial  lubricants by 15%.  These crumpled graphene balls reduce friction and the wear on steel surfaces.  This technology shows promise in reducing pollution and increasing fuel efficiency. 

Profs Karen Smilowitz PhD (McC) and George Chiampas DO (Feinberg)
have developed a data analytics platform that displays marathon race simulation and important course conditions onscreen at the same time, such as location of lead runners, runner density on the course, medical tent and aid station capacity, current temperature, and alerts of any issues on the course.

Prof. Samuel Stupp (McC) and his team have developed a new hybrid polymer that combines hard and soft components into one.  This breakthrough in nanoengineering has a variety of potential applications, including self-repairing materials, drug delivery and artificial muscles. 


McC Prof. David Dunand and Ramille Shah have developed a novel method to 3D print metals and alloys using rust and metal powders.  Their approach opens the door to using a greater variety of metals and alloys and removes previous limitations on the types of architectures that can be created.
Tanvas: The haptic touchscreen technology, invented by McC Profs. Edward Colgate and Michael Peshkin
who were both named 2015 inductees into the Chicago area Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame,  makes it possible to feel textures on a screen.  Their startup, Tanvas, received much buzz at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show. 

Northwestern startup Polyera introduced the Wove Band, a flexible wearable device worn on the wrist that utilizes technology based on the research of Weinberg Profs Tobin Marks and Antonio Facchetti.  Its display capabilities include a variety of data, including time, weather, texts, and map directions, without the need for scrolling to different pages.
Farewell to INVO Staff  
Allan Nader, PhD
Invention Manager Allan Nader passed away on February 16.  Allan was part of the INVO family for 14 years and was truly an invaluable asset both to our office and the greater Northwestern community. He was recognized by the University as an OR Star Award Recipient and a finalist for Northwestern Employee of the Year.  Allan's core responsibilities included working with faculty and students on assessing the market potential of their technologies, facilitating the inventions through the disclosure and patent process, identifying and marketing to potential licensees, and negotiating any subsequent license agreements. Allan managed some of Northwestern's most successful technologies out of some of its most preeminent laboratories, including Richard Silverman, Mark Hersam and Philip Messersmith. Allan was dedicated to his faculty and his work at INVO. We will miss Allan's charm, wit and humor. 
Chao  Zhang, PhD

After nine years as an Invention Manager at INVO, Chao is moving to El Paso, Texas where her husband has been offered a faculty position at University of Texas. While at INVO, she handled mostly chemistry and materials and biomedical engineering technologies.  We wish Chao much luck in her new role as the Associate Director of Technology Commercialization at University of Texas at El Paso.
Past INVO Dates

1- INVO Seminar:
Key Early-Stage Legal Issues to Consider in Startups.  On November 3, Tom Cox, a partner at McCarthy Duffy LLP, addressed a number issues related to entity creation, the founders agreement, angel investments, and other legal matters.  85 individuals signed up, half of whom were students.

2- INVO Seminar: 

A Unique Path to Repurposing Medical Devices @The Garage.  On December 9, Amy Conn and her colleagues from Cures Within Reach came to The Garage to talk about their non-profit  which is dedicated to repurposing fast-track  devices and therapeutics to increase patient impact.

3-INVO Seminar: 
How to Secure Initial Financing for your Startup. 
On January 19 and 20 (Evanston and Chicago, respectively),  over 100 Northwestern affiliates including faculty, post-docs and students expressed interest in learning about applying for SBIR/STTR grants as non-dilutive funding. Guest speakers included Barbara Goodman (iBIO), Anna Lisa Somera (Briteseed), Shetha Shukair (Briteseed), Joshua Lau (SiNode Systems), Rebecca McNaughton (infinitesimal). 

4 - INVO Commercialization Clinic: 
Health IT Apps.    On February 17 and 25, INVO held two commercialization clinics where six faculty members (4 Feinberg and 2 McCormick) shared their algorithms and app products with a panel of non-INVO guests, including Tom Cox (McCarthy and Duffy), Scott Barnett (Troutman Sanders), Pete McNerney (Kellogg), William Robinson (Silicon Valley Bank), Lee Tumminello (Faegre Baker Daniels), Jordan Dolin (Emmi Solutions) and Daniel Farris (Polsinelli).  
About Us

The Innovation and New Ventures Office inspires and nurtures a culture of innovation, bridging Northwestern research with its practical use for public benefit.


1800 Sherman Ave, Suite 504
Northwestern University
Evanston, Illinois 60201
Faculty Startup Milestones

Allergan's Rapastinel (GLYX-13), a weekly intravenous molecule that exhibited rapid, robust and sustained efficacy in Phase 2 clinical studies in depression, received FDA Breakthrough Therapy Designation. Rapastinel originated from Naurex, an acquired NU startup based on Prof. Joseph Moskal's (McC) CNS drug discovery platform. 

recently achieved ISO 13485 certification, an important regulatory milestone. Ohmx is a clinical diagnostics company developing an accurate and reliable, low-cost, comprehensive, point-of-care (POC) system that quantifies analytes from low-volume biological samples. Its technology is based on Prof. Thomas Meade's technology from Northwestern's Chemistry Department.

Third Coast Therapeutics develops orally active, small molecule drugs to stop the spread of solid tumors.   The company will receive support from a $2M+ translational DOD grant at Oregon Health Sciences University.  Through this grant, IND-enabling studies for one of 3CRX's lead candidates will be conducted.  Our drugs act in a new way and will be used in combination with traditional cancer killing agents to save lives. They have conducted comprehensive pre-clinical studies in which they have demonstrated a dramatic reduction the extent of metastasis and improved survival and no detectable toxicity.   Their initial indication is advanced triple negative breast cancer, a disease with poor prognosis and few if any truly effective therapeutic options but have also demonstrated activity against a wide range of solid tumor types including prostate, lung and colon.  

Cour Pharmaceuticals announced preclinical animal data that shows a reversal of the effects of dietary gluten exposure for those with Celiac Disease.   They partnered with Takeda to develop novel therapies for Celiac Disease. The partnership will focus on using nanotechnologies based on Cour's Tolerizing Immune Modifying nanoParticle (TIMP) platform, which can be extended to certain autoimmune and allergic conditions by inhibiting the abnormal immune responses that cause disease, without affecting the beneficial parts of the immune system. The TIMPs consist of a proprietary polymer and antigenic proteins which are fully encapsulated for safety and administered intravenously, were developed in collaboration with Prof. Stephen Miller (Feinberg) and former NU Professor Lonnie Shea.
NU Startup Fundraising

was awarded an NSF Phase IB SBIR Grant.  Cycladex is developing a new gold and silver extraction process based on nanotechnology that Prof. Sir Fraser Stoddart (McC) developed at Northwestern. This process does not use and pollute the environment with sodium cyanide.


Sintact Medical Systems was awarded NSF Phase IB SBIR Grant.  Sintact develops non-resorbable film that separates adjacent organs from adhering to each other after surgery. The polymer film was based on technology created by Prof. Patrick McCarthy (Feinberg) and former NU Prof. Dean Ho.

Gold T-Tech , a startup created by Profs. Jason Ng and Jeffrey Goldberger (Feinberg), was awarded a Department of Health and Human Services Phase I STTR Award. 

BOLD Diagnostics
, a startup formed from the CD2 Fellowship,aims to disrupt the ambulatory blood pressure monitoring space.  They  recently competed in three business plan competitions including the University of Louisville Brown Forman Business Plan competition where they were recognized as a Semi-Finalist, the SPIE Startup Challenge in San Francisco where the team was a finalist (Top 6 companies out of 50 applications), and the SDSU Lavin Center Lean Business Competition where they finished in 3rd place out of 20 teams. The CD2 team will be competing next at San Diego State University in the Lean Business Competition. 
INVO Welcomes Zach Brown   

Zachary Brown, PhD 
Zach joined the INVO team in March 2016.  He primarily manages technology portfolios in chemistry, materials science, & engineering.
Prior to joining Northwestern, Zach was a research and development chemist at the Shepherd Chemical Company in Norwood, Ohio.  While there, he managed projects for oil & gas, ballistics, rubber, and catalyst industries, focusing largely on the synthesis of inorganic and organometallic compounds.  He also studied the reactivity of base-metal catalysts with greenhouse gases as a postdoctoral research associate in the lab of Paul Chirik at Princeton University.
Zach completed his Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry at the University of California, Davis and his B.S. in Chemistry at Butler University in Indianapolis. 
Other INVO News... 
The INVO Practicum welcomed its 3rd cohort of interns in January.  They include:     Hilary Chase (PhD, Chemistry, Weinberg), Ray Chen (MS, Engineering Design & Innovation, McC), Yunli Ma (MS BME, McC), and Roma Notani (MS Mech E, McC).  INVO is fortunate to have the following senior interns stay beyond their 6-month program: Seoan Huh,(PhD, Neuroscience, TGS) , Stephanie Villa,(PhD, DGP, Feinberg) . Andrew Eng (PhD, Neuroscience, TGS), Ross Keenholtz (Post-Doc, Chemistry, Weinberg), and Neha Malik (Post-Doc, CMIDD).  After intense training, INVO interns gain hands-on experience with performing patentability assessments and market analyses and marketing technologies. Participants commit 10 hours per week over a 6 month period.  Applications for the July 2016 cohort are available online at this link.
The 2015 CD2 Innovation Fellows ( Andrew Wu MS, Kyle Miller MD, Jay Pandit MD and Sean Connell PhD) have recently passed the midpoint of the CD2 Fellowship.  The CD2 group is a cross-functional team composed of two clinical and two engineering fellows. The team's mission is to design the future of blood pressure monitoring to optimize treatment for hypertension. They have accomplished a number of significant milestones, including:  submitting an SBIR grant; receiving IRB approval at NMH for data acquisition in 50 patients; executing an exclusive option with Northwestern; becoming 3rd place recipients at the SDSU Lavin Center Lean Startup Competition, finalists at the SPIE Startup Challenge, and semi-finalists at the Cardinal Challenge; being selected to participate in the Center for Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology (CIMIT) at Mass General Hospital;  participating as a panelist in the AHA Leadership Summit; and incorporating as BOLD Diagnostics.  In their final four months, they will continue the Business Plan competition circuit and further develop their product

INVO is disappointed to announce that the BOLD team will be the third and final CD2 team at Northwestern University.  We are grateful for the generous resources donated by several devoted Northwestern philanthropists who have allowed us to explore medical innovation and commercialization through McCormick and Feinberg over the last three years. 

I2C is a student-centered program offering graduate students the opportunity to gain first-hand experience in handling intellectual property as it relates to academia.  I2C Applications opened in January and will be accepted until March 18, 2016.  The following schools will support graduate students (number of supported students):  McCormick (2), Kellogg (2), Law (1), Feinberg (2), and Weinberg (2).  The full-time program will run for 8 weeks (June 13-August 5).   Each student will be granted a $6000 stipend from their respective schools. 
New INVO Agreements
INVO executed
 7 licensing & option agreements 
since mid-September  
INVO & Social Media 

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