Arrowhead Research announced today that it had sold off the IP of one of its subsidiaries, Tego, to Luna Innovations in exchange for $430,000 less legal and transaction fees in exchange for a cut of any proceeds. Luna of course have been looking at buckyballs for improved MRI contrast agents – careful here! it’s a tricky subject – for quite a while using the wonderfully named trimetaspheres.
The basic idea is great. You can take a nasty toxic substance such as gadolinium that happens to show up very well in MRI scans, and encase it in a fullerene cage so that all the patients body sees is carbon. However as with much to do with fullerenes, producing anything that works at a cost that is even vaguely competitive tends to be far tougher that originally envisaged.
So what we are seeing is an ongoing migration of various bits of nanotech IP towards companies that can turn them into a useful application. This particular bit of IP came from Carbon Nanotechnologies Inc whose plans for global domination included hoovering up every bit of carbon related IP they could fund and worrying what to do with it later.