Lab Spotlight

National Cancer Institute Makes Licensing Easier for Start-Up Companies

Dept. of Health and Human Services

start-up license program launched in October 2017 by NCI TTC updates and enhances previous licensing options for start-up companies. The changes were made in response to feedback from companies. The program makes it easier and more financially attractive for start-ups to license a technology from NCI or any of the ICs supported by the TTC Service Center.

“NCI Start-up 2.0” offers a term-limited, exclusive Start-up Evaluation Option License to start-up companies developing early-stage vaccine, therapeutic, device, and diagnostic technologies. To learn more about the program – including the criteria that companies need to meet to qualify, the license features, and the process for startups to obtain a license, please see Tech Transfer Start-up Licenses.

Launching the updated start-up licensing program was the result of months of work by two separate project teams. The teams were comprised of a variety of TTC staff who considered and analyzed the original program that was established by the Office of Technology Transfer.  The goal was to develop an enhanced program that met the unique needs of a start-up company versus the licensing options available to larger companies and organizations.

“From some very diligent work and analysis of the original program, our two project teams were able to identify key issues that our original start-up licensees found problematic,” commented TTC Associate Director Richard Rodriguez. “One key factor was the original term of the start-up option license, which was 12 months.  This was clearly insufficient time for our licensees to raise capital or concurrently conduct pre-clinical experiments. The new program provides 24 months, which we believe will better assist our licensees in meeting their obligations.  Other changes will make it easier for our start-up licensees to bring a product to the market.”

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