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January 2005 Issue

Ambikaipakan Balasubramaniam, PhD, developed a compound that promises to be worth millions of dollars for UC.
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UC Sells Rights to Weight-Loss Nasal Spray

Published January 2005

Nastech Pharmaceutical Co. Inc., of Bothell, Wash., has acquired worldwide patent rights from UC for drugs that could potentially suppress appetite, reduce food intake and induce weight loss.

If Nastech obtains Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approval for its nasal spray technology to administer the drug as a treatment for obesity, it could be worth millions of dollars in revenue for UC.The drug, which consists of analogs of peptide PYY, was developed over 10 years by Ambikaipakan Balasubramaniam, PhD, a professor in the Department of Surgery. Dr. Balasubramaniam's drug may be superior to Nastech's current compound for treating obesity, PYY (3-36), because it interacts selectively with cellular receptors that control appetite and reduce food intake.

Nastech will now begin rigorous testing prior to submission to the FDA for marketing approval.

"We hope that continued research will result in a potential remedy to the curse of obesity and the diseases associated with it," says Dr. Balasubramaniam.

"We're very excited about this license to Nastech, says Richard Kordal, PhD, UC's director of Intellectual Property.

"Combining Dr. Balasubramaniam's compounds with Nastech's drug-delivery technology creates meaningful potential for further development."

This latest partnership with industry, Dr. Kordal says, is another concrete example of the execution of UC|21, the university's strategic plan for the 21st century, one of whose goals is to forge key relationships and partnerships with industry.

While specific terms of the agreement are undisclosed, Nastech will pay an up-front licensing fee, and UC will receive payments and patent-based royalties.

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