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Licenses worth a billion

Survey finds life science patents raking in hefty profits for some academic institutions

Ted Agres(tedagres@lycos.com)

Demonstrating the economic power of academic research, particularly in the life sciences, US and Canadian universities, teaching hospitals, and research institutions generated nearly $1.1 billion in royalties and fees from discoveries licensed to commercial companies in FY 2001. US universities alone took in more than $827 million from 7,715 licenses. They also received 3,179 new patents and spun-off 402 companies, according to the latest survey from the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM).

Columbia University led the pack at $129.9 million, with the vast majority coming from pharmaceutical patents. Indeed, most of the $511 million amassed by the top-10 grossing US universities was derived from life sciences-related discoveries. Across the board, the 143 US universities responding to the survey averaged $5.8 million each in licensing revenue.

The University of Sherbrooke was Canada's top-grossing institution, with nearly US$10.6 million in royalties. McGill University and its hospital and research centers took in...

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