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Presnell of Tengion, Inc. to Address Tension Between Venture Capital Markets and IP Law

Published onMar 21, 2011
Presnell of Tengion, Inc. to Address Tension Between Venture Capital Markets and IP Law

Sharon Presnell*

Accomplished scientist and medical industry research leader, Dr. Sharon Presnell will be speaking on campus at the Wake Forest University School of Law on Friday, March 25.  Hosted by the Wake Forest Journal of Business and Intellectual Property Law (JBIPL), Dr. Presnell will address intellectual property value capture in the research environment.

Dr. Presnell’s presence is part of the annual JBIPL Spring Symposium.  This year’s Symposium topic Creative Capital: Intellectual Property Creation & Venture Capital will feature keynote speaker Bob Young  (CEO & Founder of and Co-founder of Red Hat speaking) on “Open Versus Proprietary as Business Strategy,” and two panel discussions—“Financing the IP-Based Startup” and “Intellectual Property: Cradle to Grave.”

Dr. Presnell is the Senior Vice President of Regenerative Medicine & Biology at Tengion, Inc. a clinical-stage biotechnology company.  Before joining Tengion, Dr. Presnell was a scientific leader at the Becton Dickinson research facility in Research Triangle Park, N.C., where she was responsible for the growth and leadership of a 50 person, multi-disciplinary group in cell and tissue engineering.  During her tenure, her team discovered and developed a portfolio of products and technologies from inception to first commercial application, including BD’s Discovery Platform(TM), a bioinformatics-driven platform for the directed growth and differentiation of primary human cells used in drug discovery and therapy.  Dr. Presnell received her Ph.D. in cellular and molecular pathology in 1995 from the Medical College of Virginia, and completed post-doctoral studies in liver and prostate biology at the University of North Carolina, where she served on the faculty, conducting stem cell research.

Tengion, based in Pennsylvania, completed an initial public offering in April 2010.  It is a clinical-stage biotechnology company, and a leader in developing neo-organs and neo-tissues currently derived from a patient’s own (autologous) cells.  The Company has initiated a Phase 1 clinical trial for the Tengion Neo-Urinary Conduit™ in bladder cancer patients requiring bladder removal.  The Company has completed two Phase 2 human clinical trials in the United States with its Tengion Neo-Bladder Augment™ for children with neurogenic bladder due to spina bifida and in adults with neurogenic bladder due to spinal cord injury.

Dr. Presnell will present on strategies for identifying intellectual property emerging from research and development, vetting processes useful towards understanding technology within the competitive landscape, and strategies for advancing technologies within the context of a competitive landscape.  The address coincides with the publication of her article “Advancing Technology in the Context of the Competitive Landscape: An Industrial Technologist’s Perspective” in the Symposium Edition of the JBIPL.  (Abstract Follows)

An integrated strategy is required to identify, manage, and capture the value from intellectual property that arises in the research environment. Experimental results must be screened routinely to identify potential intellectual property, including novel or improved methods and compositions as well as new or expanded applications.  Strategic evaluation of potential intellectual property requires a comparison of the method, composition, or application to existing patents and patent applications, in addition to gaining an understanding of the published literature and other public-domain information.  Ultimately, the timing and mechanism(s) employed to protect intellectual property can play a major role in the success of a product.  In this article, specific examples from the medical device and regenerative medicine space are utilized to highlight strategic approaches that may be used to effectively understand and navigate through the competitive landscape in the pursuit of product development.

*Image source.

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