Exploring express licensing through the University of Cincinnati


“By eliminating unnecessary steps and reducing bureaucratic hurdles, we empowered inventors with a clearer understanding of what it takes to bring their intellectual property to the market through UC’s express licensing agreement,” Pinski said. “There is a boundary at which the technology leaves the institution. We aim to help inventors accelerate the process to successfully commercialize their discovery under terms both parties feel is equitable.”

Zalfa A. Abdel-Malek, PhD is one faculty member who has used the express license. A professor of dermatology at UC’s College of Medicine, Abdel-Malek developed a topical cream to protect against skin cancer, avoid wrinkles and trigger receptors in the skin to increase pigmentation — something available sunscreen options do not activate.

Through the tech transfer team, UC licensed the technology to Abdel-Malek’s startup company, MC1R Ventures. Her skin cream is on its way to being commercialized and available within the next few years. 

Jason Heikenfeld, PhD, a professor in the UC College of Engineering and Applied Science, also has used the express license. One of his latest innovations is a wearable technology  that provides clinicians and patients remote health monitoring through a body sensor for chronic disease indicators beyond glucose.

With over 40 issued patents and 300 U.S. applications already under his name, Heikenfeld works closely with the UC tech transfer team to protect and commercialize his discoveries while attracting investors. This partnership has resulted in seven startups with his most recent startup Kilele Health focused on commercializing his recent wearable technology.

“Faculty inventors who license their intellectual property through UC’s tech transfer office get an entire team behind them working hard to investigate, negotiate and facilitate collaborations with entrepreneurs and investors,” Pinski said. “We want to help their invention live and be successful. Our team, working in close collaboration with UC’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Venture Lab is part of a machine that actively contributes to a larger goal of helping drive economic development through the launch of these startups. This leads to job opportunities fostering a more vibrant and thriving community.”