Figure 1 shows the number of tech transfer deals has been increasing for the last 10 years, with the exception of 2012, although the sum of the deal values, year on year has fluctuated. Technology transfers enable universities to license the therapeutics they are developing. Monitoring recent deals may provide an insight into future drug developments. 2017 is likely to end with the highest average deal value per agreement for the past 10 years. This shows that pharmaceutical companies are willing to invest more in institutional research.

The most valuable tech transfer deal in 2017 was the $457 million licensing agreement between Innovent Biologics Inc and The Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry CAS (SIOC) for the development of Indoleamine 2, 3-dioxygenase (IDO) inhibitor. The inhibitor is expected to work in synergy with Innovent’s PD-1 antibody as a cancer therapy.

CSPC Pharmaceutical Group Ltd arrangement with University of Texas Health Science Center was another notable tech transfer for 2017. The $118.5 million licensing agreement allows CSPC access to two of the university’s unique biologic therapeutics that they hope to make into treatments for spinal cord injury and cancer.

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