The University of Maryland, Baltimore has given a Baltimore-based biotech company worldwide, exclusive licensing rights to the university's patents and technology to develop a faster, cheaper way to identify dangerous pathogens, University of Maryland Ventures said Wednesday.
Biotech firm Pataigin LLC, founded by university researchers, has created a library of pathogens with chemical barcodes that can be used to identify types of infection. Infectious diseases are responsible for more than 18 million deaths a year, but the technology to detect potential infectious agents is slow, expensive and labor intensive.
The licensed technology uses the presence of lipids in the outer membranes of pathogens that are unique to each strain and creates "barcodes" for each lipid coating. Laboratory staff can identify specific strains of bacteria, fungi and yeast that cause disease, using tissues from blood, urine and wounds.
Phil Robilotto, chief commercialization officer of UM Ventures, called the technology that will be licensed to Pataigin "promising," and said the company "is well situated to validate and commercialize this important technology."
UM Ventures works to channel technical resources and research expertise at the university by bringing in industry and social venture partners.