TGen and NAU Celebrate Research Agreement and Patent
Northern Arizona University (NAU) and the
Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) announced a five-year agreement to
promote innovation and quality research that will benefit Arizona. The agreement implements the state funds allocated by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer and the
Arizona Legislature, and it reaffirms the commitment of both institutions toward
quality research, training and educational opportunities, protection of public
health, and improved patient care.
“TGen has played a valuable role in developing
and advancing Arizona’s bioscience industry,” Brewer said. “From delivering
medical breakthroughs and first-rate research to creating quality jobs and
growing our economy, TGen is a shining example of the innovative companies we
seek to attract and expand in Arizona. By enhancing the successful partnership
between TGen and NAU, we can ensure that both our bioscience industry and our
economy will continue to thrive for years to come.”
Patent for tests that identify fungal pathogens
NAU and TGen also announced that
they have received patent approval for a new set of genetically based tests
that accurately identify fungal pathogens that threaten public health
worldwide. Broad-based identification of fungi is essential for clinical
diagnostics and also for environmental testing. This is the first of many
patents anticipated through NAU-TGen collaborations.
The two institutions also are
celebrating other joint research, including highly accurate genetically based
tests for detecting and monitoring Valley Fever, influenza, and different types
of staph bacterial infections—especially the potentially deadly
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, also known as MRSA.
These NAU-TGen developed genetic-based
tests allow real-time tests in any location, including laboratories, clinics,
physician offices, emergency rooms, and even field settings. Immediate
diagnosis of pathogens is a critical part of TGen’s push for precision
medicine, in which patients receive the correct treatments as quickly as
possible, speeding their recovery and saving lives.
The genetic-based tests for various
pathogens were developed by a team from NAU and TGen that includes Paul Keim, director
of TGen’s Pathogen Genomics Division (also known as TGen North) in Flagstaff,
and a Regents professor and Cowden Endowed Chair in Microbiology at NAU.
“These advanced diagnostics have
far-reaching implications for protecting public health, quickly treating
patients, and lowering the cost of healthcare,” Keim said. “Through our joint
NAU-TGen research, we are continuing to develop tools and technologies that
have a great impact on human health.”
Other intellectual property
This joint effort has generated
other intellectual property and stimulated the founding of a start-up company that now generates licensing revenues for both NAU and TGen.
“Our relationship with TGen
exemplifies the importance of the biosciences to NAU and to Arizona’s economy,”
said NAU President John Haeger. “An important mission of our university is to
produce research with direct benefits to the state and to the world, and, together with TGen, that is what we are accomplishing. We look forward to much
--Courtesy of NAU Public Affairs