IP Group plc - Signs pilot IP commercialisation agreement with the University of Pennsylvania

03 Dec 2013

IP Group plc (LSE: IPO), the developer of intellectual property based businesses, is delighted to announce that it has signed an IP commercialisation partnership with the University of Pennsylvania ("Penn" or "the University") and the University's Center for Technology Transfer's UPstart company formation programme ("UPstart").  UPstart is critical for the advancement, development and commercialisation of Penn's early stage technologies.

The partnership, which has an initial pilot phase of 18 months, will focus on early-stage, proof of principle opportunities based on intellectual property developed at Penn. The agreement covers materials and clean technology, life, medical and human sciences technologies (including agreed therapeutics opportunities), information technology as well as electronics, communications and robotics.

After just three years of operation, UPstart supports 57 active company projects, of which a number are established companies with over $15 million raised in funding. Among these companies are Graphene Frontiers, which has developed a low-cost method for producing large sheets of the one-atom thick material, Axonia Medical, which has pioneered a technique to regrow nerves, and CytoVas, which makes personalised diagnostics for measuring cardiovascular health.

Alan Aubrey, Chief Executive of IP Group, said: "Penn has a global reputation for innovation and commercialisation. It is extremely exciting to have signed this pilot agreement and we look forward to working with the team to progress opportunities and to backing our first spin-outs."

"We are excited to be one of the first US universities to partner with IP Group," Michael Poisel, UPstart Director, said. "The collaboration increases the potential for great companies to emerge from the innovative research at Penn."

For more information, please contact: 

IP Group plc

Alan Aubrey, Chief Executive Officer            

+44 (0) 20 7444 0050

Liz Vaughan-Adams, Communications   

+44 (0) 20 7444 0062 / +44 (0) 7979 853 802

FTI Consulting (for IP Group)

Ben  Atwell, John Dineen

+44 (0) 20 7831 3113

University of Pennsylvania

Evan Lerner, Science News Officer

+1 215-573-6604


Michael Poisel, Director

Notes for editors

About IP Group

IP Group is a leading UK intellectual property ("IP") commercialisation company, developing technology innovations primarily from its research intensive partner universities. The Group offers more than traditional venture capital, providing its companies with access to business building expertise, networks, recruitment and business support.

The Company's portfolio comprises holdings in over 70 companies including Oxford Nanopore Technologies, the DNA sequencing development company, Revolymer, best known for its removable chewing gum and Xeros, which has received many accolades for its revolutionary clothes washing techniques with a much reduced requirement for water.

The portfolio includes early stage to mature businesses and has exposure to five main sectors - Energy & Renewables, Medical Equipment & Supplies, Pharma & Biotech, IT & Communications and Chemicals & Materials. To date, fifteen of the portfolio companies IP Group has backed have listed on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange and one on ISDX.

Founded in 2001, IP Group listed on AIM in October 2003 and moved to the Official List in June 2006.

For more information, please visit our website at

About the University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania is an Ivy League institution with a longstanding reputation for excellence in graduate and professional education, with a number of its graduate and professional schools ranked at or near the top in their fields.

About the Center for Technology Transfer

The Center for Technology Transfer is Penn's engine for supporting economic growth by forging closer ties with industry and launching new ventures based on Penn technology. It commercialises Penn research discoveries for societal benefit and generates income for future research, development and education.

About UPstart

UPstart, CTT's business incubator, is a comprehensive suite of services geared to connect entrepreneurs, investors and funding organisations with Penn researchers. UPstart representatives partner directly with University faculty and staff to complete the steps required to legally form a company, raise funds and recruit employees to manage the company.