What's New at 722

The UVA Licensing & Ventures Group (LVG) is pleased to bring you What’s New at 722. Every other month we will be sharing thought-provoking insights from the licensing, legal and venture capital experts on our team.

What’s New at 722 will showcase the exciting research discoveries made nearly every day by the faculty, staff, and students at UVA, and the ways that LVG commercializes the technologies through strategic industry partnerships. 

Whether it’s engaging with UVA researchers to discuss their ideas, helping further a concept toward a marketable product or service, or facilitating legal protection of the ideas developed in labs, clinics, and across Grounds, LVG works with UVA innovators to give their technologies the best possible chance at reaching their full potential. 

March 2019

We're excited to bring you the latest from UVA LVG in this issue of What's New at 722 after a brief pause dedicated to our 2019 Innovator of the Year celebration

In addition to our event honoring Dr. Lee Ritterband's accomplishments in digital therapeutics at the Rotunda last month, our licensing team joined 2,000 technology transfer professionals from around the globe at the AUTM conference in Austin, and back in Charlottesville, we welcomed our newest team member, Courtney, as our Manager of Financial Operations.

The UVA LVG Seed Fund closed its sixth investment and second follow-on investment in portfolio companies BrightSpec and TearSolutions, respectively. We also welcomed dozens of faculty and community members in our incubator space last month at a co-hosted event with CvilleBioHub. A panel of experts from our network joined us for a discussion to examine the critical factors for a successful board of directors from the legal, investing, and entrepreneurial perspectives.

As you'll read in this issue, there is a lot to look forward to this spring and countless ways for you to get involved. We encourage your continued engagement and appreciate your support of our efforts to steward UVA research ideas toward making a lasting impact on the world around us. 

2019 Innovator of the Year Celebration

Thank you to all who joined our celebration last month at the Rotunda to honor the 2019 Edlich Henderson Innovator of the Year, Dr. Lee Ritterband.


Each year, this event allows us to pause and celebrate the outstanding accomplishments of a UVA faculty member whose research is making a significant impact on society.

Dr. Ritterband's career at UVA and successes in commercializing digital therapeutics has changed the lives of countless patients living with a variety of issues, including insomnia, cancer, diabetes, and substance abuse, among others. 

Dr. Lee Ritterband, 2019 Innovator of the Year


Faculty and students from the Center for Behavioral Health & Technology

Co-Founders of BeHealth Solutions

We also took this moment to recognize milestones from the last year that illustrate the University's commitment to innovation. These extraordinary accomplishments drive institutional notoriety, leveraged capital, economic development, sponsored research, and the dissemination of knowledge from Grounds to the world:

In the last fiscal year, UVA earned a record 59 US issued patents. 

2006 Innovator of the Year and UVA Engineering Professor, George Gillies, Ph.D., was elected to the National Academy of Inventors.

TypeZero Technologies, Inc., a company founded by 2011 Innovator of the Year, Boris Kovatchev, Ph.D., was acquired by DexCom, Inc., a publicly traded company and industry leader in continuous glucose monitoring.

PsiKick, Inc., a company founded by 2015 Innovator of the Year, Ben Calhoun, Ph.D., raised an additional $13 MM and today employs 41 people (including 10 UVA grads and 16 employees in Charlottesville, VA).

Jony Kipnis, Chair of the Department of Neuroscience at the UVA School of Medicine, licensed his groundbreaking work in meningeal lymphatics to PureTech Health. The announcement of the deal coincided with Kipnis' third publication in the prestigious medical journal, Nature Neuroscience.

UVA LVG Seed Fund & New Ventures

We are pleased to welcome BrightSpec, Inc. to our portfolio as our sixth investment. We also completed our second follow-on investment in our portfolio company, TearSolutions,  for continued support of their Phase II clinical trials for the synthetic lacritin protein, lacripep, discovered by UVA Professor Gordon Laurie.

This spring, we look forward to supporting our community partners, CvilleBioHub, Indoor Biotechnologies, ThermoFisher, and UVA Economic Development as a co-sponsor of the Biotech Spotlight at the 2019 Tom Tom Festival. Look out for our Venture Associate Carleen Bowers on Friday afternoon as she steps in as moderator of a panel event focused on "Funding in the Golden Age of Biotech".  We are also preparing to host the second annual Covergence: The University Gap Fund and Accelerator Summit this summer with Innovosource.  

If you're interested in learning more about the UVA LVG Seed Fund,  joining our Advisory Board, or getting involved, don't hesitate to reach me at creeden@virginia.edu.

BrightSpec, Inc. is a life science instrumentation company founded in 2012 and based on the research and patented technologies of UVA Chemistry Professor, 2017 Innovator of the Year, and the company's current Chief Scientist, Brooks Pate, Ph.D. 

For the last seven years, BrightSpec has been shaping the field of analytical chemistry and introduced an entirely new measurement technique into one of the most conservative fields in science: molecular rotational resonance spectroscopy. In 2016, the company brought the first product line of spectrometers based on molecular rotational resonance (MRR) spectroscopy to market. 

BrightSpec's recently announced Series B financing will support corporate development and a new product launch, and was followed by their announcement of a technology asset acquisition from BioTools, Inc. that will continue to grow their portfolio.