Moving Ideas from the Lab to Patients

In June 2017, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) held their inaugural Technology showcase with 200 attendees from Frederick Maryland. Attendees came from the NCI’s Technology Transfer Center (TTC) and the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research (FNLCR) to connect with biotechnology professionals across the Maryland/DC region.

TTC’s goal is to help advance the inventions and technologies that NCI and other NIH researchers develop into products that will not only help patients but also advance research and spur economic development.

One project at TTC, listed as NCI’s Comprehensive Data Resource’s (CDR) has a need for collaborators to co-develop a secure web-based biorepository database to help manage and maintain multi-dimensional data models on biospecimens.

The collaboration would explore whether CDR can be useful for biobanking operations in the extramural community. The goal would be to demonstrate that CDR, as a freely available software package, could be adopted to standardize and streamline biobanking operations across the broader research community. For more information, email

NCI can’t directly commercialize inventions. It takes an industry partner and resources to have a medical product approved by FDA before it is marketed, sold, or administered to patients. The way to get a technology from the bench to the bedside is for the TTC to work with industry partners to get medical solutions across the finish line.

However, TTC can work with agreements such as Cooperative Research and Development Agreements or (CRADA) which allows the outside company and NCI to collaborate. If new Intellectual Property (IP) is created out of joint clinical research, then TTC works with both parties to make sure that the new IP is patented, TTC also works with both parties to facilitate any other type of research agreement that may be needed.

TCC’s services are more in demand now than they were in the past since more companies are using technologies that were developed externally to augment their product’s pipeline. In addition, TCC is doing outreach including on an international level, to spread the word that technology and inventions are available for collaboration and/or licensing.

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