CONTACT: Bruce Wheaton
UI Research Foundation
Roman Terrill, J.D., Integrated DNA (319) 626-8451
Phone: (319) 335-4546
Release: Feb. 28, 2002
UI Research Foundation earns royalty payment from Integrated DNA Technologies
DNA Technologies, Inc. (IDT), announced today a significant royalty payment
to the University of Iowa Research Foundation (UIRF) required under a license
agreement covering two patented DNA based technologies invented by the company's
president and CEO, Dr. Joseph A. Walder, while he was a University of Iowa
professor of biochemistry.
IDT, which now employs more than 300 people, got its commercial start
in the university's business incubator, the Technology Innovation Center (TIC),
on the UI Oakdale Campus. The payment of approximately $175,000 was made for
the development of technologies invented nearly two decades ago in UI research
"IDT is very pleased to share with the University of Iowa Research
Foundation the commercial success of these two technologies," said Walder.
"We are hopeful that IDT and the UIRF will continue to enjoy further
success over the life of these valuable patents. IDT is particularly pleased
to be working with the UIRF, which shares a common mission with IDT—fostering
innovation in basic research and development in the life sciences. IDT intends
to make these technologies more accessible to academic researchers and their
students, and we trust our various partners will make the long-felt promise
of these technologies in the diagnostic and therapeutic settings a near-term
The patented technologies relate to the use of nucleic acids (DNA)
in research and clinical applications. One technology, called catalytic hybdrization
amplification, allows researchers or clinicians to detect the presence of
a nucleic acid sequence in a sample by designing a DNA probe that is cleaved
when it identifies its target sequence. This technology
has been used clinically as a diagnostic methodology, and was sub-licensed
to a Canadian biomedical company.
The second technology, in the field of "antisense," allows
researchers to determine the function of particular genes in an organism by
using specific DNA fragments to inhibit the activity of the targeted genes
in cells. The technology has proven to be a very valuable research tool helping
to unravel many of the functions of the enormous number of genes recently
identified under the Human Genome Project. In addition, antisense technology
is being developed by pharmaceutical companies, which use antisense DNA as
a therapeutic means to inhibit the activity of genes that cause certain diseases.
The University of Iowa Research Foundation filed patent applications
on the two technologies in 1987 and 1988, and later exclusively licensed those
patent applications to Integrated DNA Technologies, Inc, which was then a
start-up company at the University's Technology Innovation Center on the UI
Oakdale Campus. IDT funded the
prosecution of the patent applications over the course of the next 13 years.
IDT was able to successfully sublicense the resulting patents to various companies
in the genomics and pharmaceutical industries.
Bruce Wheaton, director of the University of Iowa Research Foundation
and the Technology Innovation Center, added that "The University is proud
to be affiliated with a company dedicated to bringing cutting edge research
technologies into laboratories and classrooms around the world. We congratulate
IDT because their hard work has transformed a start-up company with fewer
than five workers into one of the area's most significant employers."
He also noted that IDT's recent payment for technologies invented nearly two
decades ago illustrates the tremendous time and costs often associated with
commercializing such inventions.
Said Wheaton, "We hope that as a result of IDT's efforts, researchers
and students at the University of Iowa and elsewhere will be better equipped
to investigate the rich information made available by the Human Genome Project."
Integrated DNA Technologies, Inc., an Iowa-based biotechnology company,
is a major force in advancing biomedical research as both a supplier of custom
oligonucleotides and a developer of innovative new biotechnology. As a leading
manufacturer of synthetic DNA/RNA, IDT provides products to over 14,000 customers
worldwide. With a comprehensive sales team, IDT has strong presence in both
the academic and corporate marketplace. IDT's research division is committed
to improving nucleic acid synthesis technology and developing new applications
for DNA and RNA based compounds. IDT's advanced synthesis group combines expertise
in chemistry, molecular biology, information systems and engineering to produce
and purify complex nucleic acids of all kinds. Integrated DNA Technologies
is located near major university, medical and research centers in Coralville,
Iowa with offices in the Chicago area. IDT is dedicated to being the world's
leader in innovation and precision in nucleic acid synthesis.