TU research licensed by 46VC advancing cancer testing, therapeutics - The University of Tulsa
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TU research licensed by 46VC advancing cancer testing, therapeutics

Angus Lamar, Ph.D., and Robert Sheaff, Ph.D. pose side by side in a science lab
Angus Lamar, Ph.D. (left) and Robert Sheaff, Ph.D. (right)

FortySix Venture Capital LLC and The University of Tulsa announced today that technology developed by TU researchers has been licensed by 46VC for commercialization efforts.

Researchers at The University of Tulsa have developed a novel process for synthesizing and using sulfonamides and testing their efficacy and selectivity against human cancer cells, which could ultimately aid targeting therapeutic treatments for individualized patient applications.

Angus Lamar, Ph.D., and Robert Sheaff, Ph.D., who are both associate professors of chemistry and biochemistry, have been researching cancer at TU for several years funded by a grant from the Oklahoma Center for Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST). Together with their teams – which have included graduate and undergraduate students – the faculty members have been prolific in their discovery of novel technologies related to cancer screening and selection of effective anticancer agents. Based on the teams’ research, the technology licensed has the capability to radically change the time and expense required to target therapeutics for the deadliest forms of cancer.

Tools being used in a science lab46VC and The University of Tulsa have executed a license arrangement that will accelerate the commercialization of these technologies. Under the arrangement, 46VC will undertake efforts to commercialize the technology by building a business team around the technology; secure the necessary regulatory approvals; and, ultimately, bring the technology to market.

“This agreement with 46VC provides an opportunity to see our research efforts lead to better, more effective chemotherapeutics targeting hard-to-treat cancers,” Sheaff said.

Bill Lawson, Ph.D. and director of technology commercialization at The University of Tulsa, led the charge for TU in securing this licensing arrangement with support from faculty in the university’s Collins College of Business, including Mike Troilo, Ph.D., and Chris Wright, Ph.D., whose interdisciplinary involvement carved the path for business plan development and venture capital investment.

“It’s an outstanding day when The University of Tulsa takes a big step forward in making our inventors’ intellectual properties accessible to everyone,” Lawson said. “Drs. Lamar and Sheaff’s findings can literally save lives.”

Tracy Poole, co-founder and managing partner of 46VC, expressed interest in the technology less than one year ago and worked quickly to conduct diligence on the technology and determine whether 46VC could be helpful in commercialization efforts.

Smiling person holding a vile showing another person“We are very fortunate to have such a great research university in Tulsa,” said Poole. “As early investors, we feel like we are in the right place at the right time to help push this technology forward. It is our job as early-stage investors to uncover tech transfer opportunities with our regional research universities and partners.”

“This agreement demonstrates how The University of Tulsa is invested in supporting our faculty and students to commercialize their research and inventions,” said TU President Brad R. Carson. “Great cities have great research universities and Tulsa is no exception.”

The University of Tulsa and 46VC will begin working together to commercialize the important discovery immediately.