Year: 2014-15

Company: City of Hope

Liaison(s): Saswati Chatterjee Laura Smith Manasa Chandra

City of Hope is a leading research and treatment
center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening
diseases. The cancer research and treatment focus by
City of Hope has resulted in its recognition as the
City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center by the
National Cancer Institute. This Center contains five
research programs: Cancer Biology, Developmental
Cancer Therapeutics, Cancer Immunotherapeutics,
Hematologic Malignancies, and Cancer Control and
Population Sciences. Further recognition and research
commitment came about with the establishment of the
Beckman Research Institute in 1983 by Pat and Arnold
Beckman. The Beckman Research Institute supports
and expands the previous 60 years of basic and applied
research at the City of Hope. At the Beckman Research
Institute, faculty and investigators are revolutionizing
the treatment of life-threatening diseases with a focus
on investigating the biology, biological chemistry, and
pathology of cancer and diabetes.
This TMP project, sponsored by a laboratory at City
of Hope, is aimed at creating a viable business model
to license out the laboratory’s unique intellectual
property. The sponsoring lab focuses on generating
adenoassociated viral vectors for therapeutic
purposes. Adenoassociated viral vectors, or AAV
vectors, have emerged within the field of gene therapy,
within the last few decades, as a potential cure for
various genetic diseases. With the 2012 approval
of the first gene therapy drug in the European
market, multiple biotechnology and pharmaceutical
companies have begun pursuing gene therapy —
resulting in increased interest and investment in
this therapeutic strategy. Consequently, this TMP
is focused on providing a business framework to
take advantage of the increasing interest in adenoassociated
viral vectors for gene therapy.
The Chatterjee lab at City of Hope has been diligently
working on its own AAV vectors, which have the
potential to outperform those of competitors. The
final deliverable of this TMP project is a solid
business plan that can be used to introduce their
novel AAV vectors into the American marketplace.
During the course of the academic year, the City of
Hope “Gene Therapy” TMP Team has narrowed
the disease focus of their project to target the most
valuable market opportunities for this technology.
After extensive market research, the TMP has created
a cohesive business plan which incorporates feasible
developmental, scientific, and operational milestones
for the laboratory to achieve in preparation of the
market entry of this novel technology.