Holiday Innovation
'Tis the Season for Innovation
Dear Innovation Community,

We continue to stay OPEN for business, and very much appreciate your ongoing support and faith in our innovation. We've launched a new outreach program and brought back our live, in-person events. Below is a sampler of some of our accomplishments from 2023, largely in partnership with you, our community.

We wish you a happy holiday and we'll reconnect in the new year.

Peter Kotsonis, PhD
Enriching the UCSF Innovator’s Experience and Ecosystem
UCSF Launches Hub for
Innovator Enrichment
“UCSF’s top priorities include inspiring, identifying and investing in our “Frontline Innovators” who are translating their novel ideas into beneficial impact at scale for health and life sciences” 
Catherine R Lucey, MD
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost
We are thrilled to announce the launch of an Innovation Ventures core program titled "Innovator Enrichment." This comprehensive initiative is designed to inspire, identify, and invest in frontline innovators at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).

UCSF is fertile soil for innovation with its unparalleled capacity for discovery, invention, validation, and implementation, yet translation from “idea to impact” is challenging to navigate at any institution. The Innovator Enrichment program aims to facilitate this journey and create opportunities for all interested clinicians, researchers, educators, and learners, to engage in innovation. Importantly, the program targets the development of Innovators, not just Innovations.

To achieve the Innovator Enrichment program aims, we have a multi-pronged approach which includes initiating new targeted programs, supporting established services in Innovation Ventures, and collaborating closely with the vibrant community of existing innovation initiatives at UCSF.

A key focus of the Innovator Enrichment is to provide an inclusive and equitable environment and diversify the UCSF innovator community.

The Innovator Enrichment program will offer a range of vital services including:
  • Access to Innovation: Providing all UCSF clinicians, researchers, educators, and learners with expanded access to engage in innovation through networks, resources, and knowledge. Innovator Enrichment opportunities will be available on the Innovation Ventures website.
  • Individualized support: Providing personalized guidance to innovators as they navigate the complexities of translating novel, evidence-based innovations, while also expanding their academic and clinical careers. Services will include office hours, mentor and advisor networks, and Departmental IV Ambassadors.
  • Monthly “Innovator Seminar Series”: Launching January 24, 2024, these expert lectures will provide core knowledge needed to advance innovations across the arc of development. Key topics include - problem analysis, design thinking, stakeholder discovery, solution landscape, intellectual property, technology validation, regulatory pathways, business development, communication, and equity in innovation.

  • Funding: Providing notifications and guidance on grants, awards, and seed funding opportunities. Development of new funding opportunities, including the UCSF Innovation Challenge, launching in Spring 2024. 

  • UCSF Innovation Center in Genentech Hall: UCSF Innovators are invited to gather with mentors and peers for seminars, project team meetings, networking, or office hours. This also provides all UCSF innovation initiatives access to physical meeting space. To book time in the Innovation Center write to: [email protected] or [email protected]

  • Innovation Ecosystem: UCSF is a part of a vibrant innovation ecosystem that extends beyond our campus. This is illustrated by the JPM Healthcare Conference in San Francisco and the UCSF Innovation Showcase and Reception on Jan 9. (See below for details). Also, stay tuned to the IV website for details of the “Annual UCSF Innovation Summit and Showcase” in the Fall of 2024.
The Innovator Enrichment program aims to further UCSF’s standing as a global leader in health and life science innovation, increasing our capacity to improve lives and advance healthcare for all.

For more information about Innovator Enrichment, contact Aenor Sawyer, MD at [email protected]
Live From Mission Bay
From the Innovator Series to the Academic Entrepreneurship Workshops, Innovation Ventures is Leading the
Conversation on Tech Transfer
Innovator Series: Microbiome
The Innovator Series, co-hosted by the Benioff Center for Microbiome Medicine and Innovation Ventures, aims to provide education and exposure to translational research and commercialization for trainees and junior faculty. 
The inaugural session highlighted content from our Startup Workshop. Audience members had the opportunity to learn more about our 'market-first' approach to translating science into commercial products, before participating in an interactive case study of UCSF startup Siolta Therapeutics.

Nikole Kimes, CEO of Siolta Therapeutics, joined our business development and strategic partnership team members, Gabriela Fernandez-Cuervo Velasco, PhD, Lindsay Sanford, PhD, Darya Bubman, PhD, Gemma Rooney, PhD, and
Lorraine Johnson.

This was the first of our Innovator Series discussions.
Balancing Startup Risk/Reward
On November 1st, the Office of Technology Management and Advancement’s (OTMA) Engagement and Opportunity Development Team and Mubadala Capital's Healthcare Ventures team co-hosted an Investor and Founder Panel Discussion on Balancing Startup Risk and Reward.
Panelists Eric Gomez, PhD, (Mubadala Capital)Michael Pellini, MD (Section 32)Hani Goodarzi, PhD (UCSF & Exai Bio), and Nikole Kimes, PhD (Siolta Therapeutics) joined OTMA's Assistant Director of Business Development and the evening moderator, Darya Bubman, PhD, to discuss what it takes to build a team, pitch investors, run a company in turbulent times, and the role universities have in supporting their top-tier talent. The panel discussion was followed by a networking reception where UCSF Principal Investigators, students, postdocs, venture capitalists, industry contacts from the OTMA and Mubadala entrepreneurial ecosystem, and OTMA’s Executives-in-Residence and Entrepreneurs-in-Residence had a chance to connect over some appetizers and drinks.
Because all good things come in threes...
Ophthalmology Showcase
With the American Academy of Ophthalmology holding its annual meeting here in San Francisco, OTMA's Senior Business Development Manager, Mike Papac, PhD, seized the opportunity to hold a showcase of
UCSF Ophthalmology's brightest stars.
Mike was joined by Jacque Duncan, MD, Chair of Ophthalmology at UCSF, Stephen McLeod, MD, CEO of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, Eugene De Juan, MD, UCSF retina specialist and surgeon, Frank Brodie, MD MBA, UCSF professor of Ophthalmology, and Julie Schallhorn, MD, MS, associate director of UCSF's residency program in ophthalmology. The event featured UCSF innovators O'Rese Knight, MD, PhD, Bob Bhisitkul, MD, PhD, and Tyson Kim, MD, PhD. Interim Vice Chancellor of Business Development, Innovation, and Partnerships Peter Kotsonis, PhD joined the panel. A reception followed the event in the new Wayne and Gladys Valley Center for Vision.
Catalyst Program
Catalyst Program Hosts Academic
Entrepreneurship Workshops
The Catalyst Program hosted two workshops in December to help UCSF investigators and their teams learn more about the core elements of academic entrepreneurship and the principal factors to consider when translating discoveries into healthcare products for patient benefit.
The first workshop was held on Wednesday, December 6 from 4 to 5 pm and was titled: “Key Considerations for Moving Healthcare Projects in Academia Along the Translational Path to Commercialization and Patient Benefit”. This workshop, moderated by Roopa Ramamoorthi, PhD, featured Catalyst Industry Advisors Linda McAllister, MD, PhD, and David Kim, MD.
The second workshop was held on Monday, December 11, and featured Darren Cooke, Executive Director of the UC Berkeley Life Sciences Entrepreneurship Center. Darren presented on NSF I-Corps and how the program utilizes customer discovery and the tenets of the business model canvas to focus on the key elements for successful product development.

You can watch the videos here!
iHackHealth Appathon 3.0
Over the past several weeks, UCSF students, trainees, faculty, and staff submitted dozens of innovative HealthTech and MedTech app ideas to the UCSF LaunchPad for consideration for the third iteration of the iHackHealth Appathon. Finalist project proposals are now being paired with teams of UC Berkeley engineering students to develop a prototype of the mobile app for iOS. In addition, UCSF and UC Berkeley are collaborating with Apple to utilize their open-source tool kits and to aid in the development process. The development phase will last two weeks followed by a final showcase where judges from Apple, UC Berkeley, UCSF, and VCs will determine the winning project.
Technology Management and Advancement
2023 Year-End Roundup

2023 was a banner year for Innovation Ventures’ Office of Technology Management and Advancement (OTMA). OTMA includes the Licensing Team, the Engagement & Opportunity Development Team, and Business Affairs & Strategic Partnerships which together do the out-licensing and startup development for UCSF.
  • 12 new startups in FY2023
  • 88 total startups currently active
  • $594 million raised by all UCSF startups in 2023
  • $52 million in licensing revenue in FY2023
  • 191 licensing deals in FY2023
  •  38 new KOLs added to our KOL network
  • 150+ new industry and venture capital engagements
  • 175 current active startup/licensing opportunities
Selected Highlights from 2023:
EpiBiologics, a UCSF spinout building a next-generation protein degradation platform for membrane and extracellular drug targets came out of stealth and launched with a $70M Extended Series A. The company was founded around technology developed in Dr. Jim Wells’ lab that could be used to help patients with cancer or a wide variety of other diseases.  
Aer Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company developing novel inhaled treatments for muco-obstructive lung diseases, came out of stealth and announced the closing of a $36 million Series A financing and initiated a first-in-human Phase 1 clinical trial of AER-01 in 2023. Aer is a spinout from Dr. John Fahy’s UCSF lab where lead molecule AER-01 was developed.
Delve Bio, a UCSF spinout developing metagenomic next-generation sequencing (mNGS) for infectious disease debuted with $35 million in Series A financing. Its mNGS platform is based on work from the lab of UCSF’s Dr. Charles Chiu. The company aims to bring genomic testing diagnostics to infectious disease patients. 
ClearPoint Neuro, a platform company providing navigation and delivery to the brain, announced an exclusive licensing agreement with UCSF to develop and commercialize a delivery device for use in the operating room under fluoroscopy/CT guidance and under MRI guidance. The intracerebral cellular delivery device was designed at UCSF by
Dr. Daniel Lim.

Scalable Care, a digital care platform and UCSF spinout that uses conversational AI and advanced automation announced the signing of an exclusive licensing agreement with UCSF to commercialize the web and smartphone application known as ‘GritX’.
OTMA Celebrates Its Successful Business Development Internship Program
The Office of Technology Management and Advancement's Engagement & Opportunity Development (EOD) team, is proudly celebrating the success of its Business Development Internship Program throughout 2023.

The program, which was launched in 2019, and is currently led by Lorraine Johnson and Mike Papac, PhD, aims to bridge the gap between academic research technologies and industry by offering graduate students, Postdoctoral fellows, and other professionals hands-on experience in market assessment, business development and commercialization of promising technologies out of the University.

“This initiative has not only provided invaluable real-world experience to aspiring professionals but has also played a crucial role in fostering innovation and
entrepreneurship within UCSF,” said Todd Pazdera, PhD, Director of Business Development EOD and Licensing. “Together, over the course of 2023, the interns helped to evaluate about 175 new inventions within UCSF.”

Interns are provided with a training ground in several areas and have been instrumental in helping to assess market opportunities, conduct market research, and engage in business strategies to help bring these innovations to the market. We look forward to expanding our program in 2024.

We want to sincerely thank this year’s interns for their past and present contributions: Irit Miller Zmora, PhD, Mikaela Matera-Vatnik, Praneeti Pathiati, PhD, Rumi Yokoto, Afareen Jaleel, Akshaya Jayakarunakaran, Reece Williams, Andrew Nelson, PhD, and Clara Sibert.

For more information on OTMA's Engagement and Opportunity Development Internship Program and to apply, please click here:
Expert Opinions
Executives and Entrepreneurs
in Residence at EOD
Our Office of Technology Management and Advancement's EiR/XiR Program, which was created in 2019, has a team of 'Executives-in-Residence' (XiRs) and 'Entrepreneurs-in-Residence' (EiRs) working across NewCo opportunities at UCSF to provide their experienced strategic input and feedback.
Meet the Team
 ·     Althea Stillman
·     Eileen McCullough
·     Justin Chickles
·     Partha Ray
·     Bill Coston
·     Andrew Tomasik
·     Robert Lungberg
·     Carmen Caricchio
·     Perry Teevens
The XiR’s and EiR’s work closely with our business development staff and UCSF faculty to create NewCo opportunities and guide them to investment milestones. 

Find out more about our program here:
From Academia to Innovator:
Exploring Entrepreneurship as a Career
Dereck Paul, UCSF MD and CEO/Cofounder of clinical informatics company Glass Health described the life of an entrepreneur in this November 13 talk about entrepreneurship as a career choice. He was preceded by Stephanie's lecture on entrepreneurial personality, setting the stage for people to think about their personality match.
Cohort Five of Global Entrepreneurship
UCSF's Global Life Sciences/Healthcare Entrepreneurship Course - Virtual Master Class Direct from Silicon Valley, has concluded its fifth cohort! We had participants from Australia, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Indonesia, Myanmar, and South Korea. The class covered key topics for starting a life sciences/healthcare company, was taught by Silicon Valley practitioners, and had a dynamic international community that explored the topics in small groups. Professionals who are scientists, physicians, academics, entrepreneurs, pharmaceutical company management, and ecosystem heads were participants in the course.

The next cohort is tentatively scheduled for Fall 2024. Stay tuned.

For more information click here:
UCSF StartUps in the News
Coming in January
UCSF Innovation Reception
at JP Morgan
Always more to come!