Tonkon Torp partner Josh Smith was a featured speaker at a recent educational program hosted by Oregon Bioscience Incubator (OBI). The program focused on technology licensing and transfers from educational and other institutions. Josh moderated a discussion with client Dr. Andrew Weinberg, an immunologist who discovered that OX40 agonists were potent stimulators of tumor immunity in cancer-bearing hosts. To realize the clinical potential of OX40, he founded the biotech company AgonOx to develop immunotherapy treatments based on OX40 as well as new T cell therapies. Josh and Dr. Weinberg discussed the experience of forming AgonOx and structuring the initial license deal with Providence Cancer Center, for whom Dr. Weinberg was working at the time of the discovery. They also explored the process of evaluating pharmaceutical companies who expressed interest in becoming a sublicense partner, creating the deal with their selected partner MedImmune, and what the company focuses on today.
Josh also provided a nuts and bolts overview of technology licensing basics, covering the different types of tech transfer agreements, terms, fees, and risk allocation.
Josh is a member of Tonkon Torp's Entrepreneurial Services, Intellectual Property, Corporate Finance, and Mergers & Acquisitions practice groups. His practice is focused on representing and counseling emerging and established companies on a wide variety of intellectual property, corporate, and transactional matters.
OBI is a nonprofit research and economic development institute whose mission is to accelerate bioscience industry growth and job creation for the state of Oregon. In 2013, OBI opened Oregon's first and only bioscience-focused business incubator – the OTRADI Bioscience Incubator.