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LaTerza, Vincent

Associate Vice President for Research and Director Technology Transfer and Commercialization    

Vince is an experienced biopharma entrepreneur and technology transfer executive.

Company Experience: Vince was a cofounder of an Emory University spin off company called Octagen. Octagen developed a FVIII variant to control bleeding crisis in patients who have developed neutralizing antibodies against wild type FVIII. Now called OBIZUR, the FVIII variant received FDA approval in October 2014 and is marketed by Baxter. Vince was also the first business hire for NeurOp, Inc. another Emory spin off bio-pharmaceutical company. While Vince was NeurOp’s CEO, the company accessed seed financing, several major research grants and entered into an alliance with Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) to co-develop novel medicines for depression and pain. Before helping to launch NeurOp, Vince also cofounded Abeome, Inc. a monoclonal antibody platform company based in Athens, GA.

University Experience: Earlier in his career, Vince worked as a technology transfer professional for several major research universities in Georgia, including UGA and Georgia Tech. Vince was the first Director of Emory’s Office of Technology Transfer. He was Emory’s primary business and legal representative for the negotiation of a license agreement between Emory and Triangle Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Gilead) for the antiviral drug Emtriva, aka FTC. This arrangement yielded a one-time royalty payment in the amount of $545 million (lump sum royalty stream buy-out) to Emory by Gilead Sciences and Royalty Pharma in 2005.

Georgia State University has made remarkable progress in recent years in expanding its capability to do world class research in the life sciences and other areas. Vince perceives an exciting opportunity for GSU investigators to translate some of their high-powered research into inventions and discoveries that will impact the marketplace and the clinic. Vince works with GSU faculty to protect break- through technologies through patenting. Obtaining patents is an essential, but usually insufficient step in the challenging process of commercializing early stage discoveries. University entrepreneurs need to identify and achieve key milestones on the path from where a given discovery is to a stage that will attract the interest of an established commercial entity (i.e. a pharmaceutical company) or inspire persons with management expertise and financial resources to get behind a project (i.e. company formation). This always involves getting additional proof of concept or safety data. One source of vital funding for such studies is the federal small business program. Vince has already assisted several GSU faculty to pursue STTR and SBIR grants.

Vince is looking forward to applying the lessons he learned while working in university technology transfer and early stage life sciences companies to assist GSU investigator/inventors in taking their technology to the next level.