Cell lines and antibody commercialized through reagent licensing program

Two School of Medicine laboratories are University’s first to participate in program that helps deliver discoveries to the marketplace

Researchers pose for photo from two UNR Med laboratories who are University’s first to participate in program that helps deliver discoveries to the marketplace

Thomas Kozel, Ph.D., professor, Department of Microbiology and his lab team have made their discovery of a monoclonal antibody for studying anthrax, to the marketplace. From left to right: Marcellene Gates-Hollingsworth, staff research associate IV, Peter Thorkildson, staff research associate IV, Thomas Kozel, Ph.D., professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology Dana Reed, M.S., staff research associate IV. UNR Med photo by Brin Reynolds.

The University of Nevada, Reno has partnered with the Boston-based reagent company Kerafast to help scientists worldwide gain access to the research tools developed in the University's laboratories. The program streamlines the process of transferring biomaterials among different research institutions, furthering the materials' contribution to scientific progress.

Under the program, University researchers can add their lab-made materials to Kerafast's online catalog, where other scientists can easily access them via a simple-click license that eliminates the need for traditional Material Transfer Agreements (MTAs). Kerafast markets the materials, handles selling and shipping logistics, and returns a portion of the proceeds to the University and the contributing labs. The program aims to accelerate global scientific research, while also providing University labs with an extra stream of research funding.  

Research materials from the first two University laboratories to participate in the program are now available online. Subhash Verma of the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine's Department of Microbiology and Immunology has made available Burkitt lymphoma cell lines, useful for studying the oncogenic potential of viral antigen in causing B-cell lymphoma. In addition, Thomas Kozel of the same department has made available a monoclonal antibody for studying anthrax, a serious infectious disease and bioterrorism threat. The antibody detects poly-γ-D-glutamic acid (PGA), a component of the anthrax bacterium that is shed into blood and can be used to rapidly diagnosis the infection.  

"The University of Nevada, Reno is committed to bringing the innovations and technologies developed on our campus into the marketplace for the benefit of society," said Ellen Purpus, assistant vice president for enterprise and innovation. "Our new collaboration with Kerafast provides a streamlined path for our faculty to offer their reagents to the global research community." Kozel noted that the collaboration streamlines efforts to make key materials developed at the University available to the global research community.  

"We are excited to begin our partnership with University of Nevada, Reno," said Amelia Gibson, Kerafast business development director. "The Kerafast mission is to advance life science research by promoting access to unique research tools, and we welcome UNR investigators into the rapidly growing community of scientists who are sharing novel materials through our program."  

A wide variety of lab-made reagents - including antibodies, proteins, cell lines, plasmids, nanoparticles, probes and more - can be made available through this program. For more information, or to discuss distribution of research tools through the program, visit the Kerafast website or contact the office of Enterprise & Innovation at innovation@unr.edu or 775-784-4421.


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The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine, Nevada's first public medical school, is a community-based, research-intensive medical school with a statewide vision for a healthy Nevada. Established in 1969, UNR Med is improving the health and well-being of all Nevadans and their communities through excellence in student education, postgraduate training and clinical care, research with local, national and global impact and a culture of diversity and inclusion.

Released: Tuesday November 5, 2019 @ 8:00 AM