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Home News Duke’s Office for Translation and Commercialization Helps Launch 13 Startups and Receives Over $90M in Revenue in FY21

Duke’s Office for Translation and Commercialization Helps Launch 13 Startups and Receives Over $90M in Revenue in FY21

By Aliza Inbari

Durham, NC., October 25, 2021 — Duke’s Office for Translation and Commercialization (OTC), which manages Duke innovations and licenses them to commercial partners, helped launched 13 new startups in the fiscal year 2021 and received over $90M in revenue from its licensees related to product revenues and company acquisitions. In addition, two companies were acquired (AskBio by Bayer and Phitonex by Thermofisher) and one went public (Inhibikase).

“We are proud of the successes our licensees and startups achieved last year in getting products into the marketplace and creating successful partnerships,” said Robin Rasor, Associate VP for Translations and Commercialization at Duke University.

OTC received 374 invention disclosures and signed 118 agreements with industry partners, 28 of which were exclusive. The office was issued 93 U.S. patents and filed 489 patent applications, up from 455 last year.

Ten of the 13 new companies come from Duke University School of Medicine, two from the Pratt School of Engineering, and one from the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences. This brings the total number of companies created at Duke to 182 since OTC was formed in 1986. About 70% of the new startups formed this year have a headquarters in North Carolina.

Duke companies raised over $300 million in funding during 2021. Most recently, Xilis, which is developing the next-generation micro-organosphere technology for precision cancer therapy, raised $70 million in a Series A financing. Replicate Bioscience, which is developing RNA-based treatments for cancer, raised $40 million in a series A financing in early September.

“We are excited by our resilient and entrepreneurial faculty’s continued success at launching successful start-ups during this past year made awkward by the pandemic, and we look forward to seeing more great Duke innovations exit the University as start-ups in the coming year,” said Jeff Welch, Director of Duke New Ventures.

FY21 New Startups:

Duke University School of Medicine

Basking Biosciences

Developing the first reversible thrombolytic therapy for acute ischemic stroke (AIS).
Inventor: Bruce Sullenger


Therapeutics and biomarkers for neuropsychiatric disorders and diseases.
Inventor: Rima Kaddurah-Daouk

Cohere Med

A clinical analytics company providing predictive solutions to clinicians to help improve clinical outcomes and reduce cost of health care.
Inventor: Mark Sendak, Manesh patel

Eclipse Life Sciences

Therapeutic compounds to treat ophthalmological disease.
Inventor: Scott Cousins

Greenlight Ready

In partnership with the City and County of Durham and Duke Health, providing COVID-19 monitoring, guidance, and testing access to businesses in Durham.
Inventors: Becky Smith, Mark Sendak

HealthForceRx (SBV HF)

A health care workforce management system that uses predictive analytics with integrated HR/payroll data, historical trends, and market statistics.
Inventors: Kelly Kester, Jill Engel


Surgical instruments tracking system for the operating room, resulting in dependable, real-time data streams with predictive analytics to transform operating room resource management.
Inventor: Patrick Codd

Replicate Bioscience

RNA-based treatments for cancer using proprietary Synthetic Replicon for Gene delivery (SynRGY) technology to deliver the genetic code of a virally derived RNA molecule.
Inventor: Herbert Kim Lyerly

Splendo Health

Developed SplendoFit, a comprehensive digital platform with sensors and electronic health records integration for remote healthcare monitoring, communication, and perioperative intervention.
Inventor: Jeroen Molinger


Improving the health and well-being of people with complex chronic diseases. Personalized Health Planning within Shared Medical Appointments (PHP-SMA) program to care for Type II Diabetes and Type II Diabetes with Chronic Kidney Disease.
Inventors: Ralph Snyderman, Connor Drake

Pratt School of Engineering

Roke Biotechnologies

Novel 2-stage protein expression and purification technologies enabling advances in processes for making proteins used in research as well as in the industrial and the pharmaceutical industries.
Inventors: Michael Lynch, Romel Menacho-Melgar


A social impact, cleantech company, with innovative technologies for creation of a world without waste.
Inventor: Marc Deshusses

Trinity College of Arts & Sciences

Sparta Biomedical

Orthopedic solutions for replacing damaged knee cartilage in patients with single or multiple chondral or osteochondral defects in the knee.
Inventor: Ben Wiley

Digital Innovations

Digital innovations (DI) comprise a growing sector of Duke’s disclosures and startups, with 108 disclosures and six new companies in the digital space. The companies raised more than $31 million in funding. The DI team negotiated 13 exclusive license agreements and received more than $2M in royalty revenue.

“The translation and commercialization of digital innovations into licensing partnerships and venture spinouts continues to be an area of sustained growth at Duke, “ said Dinesh Divakaran, Director of Digital Innovations at OTC.

To view the Duke Office of Research and Innovation 2020-21 Annual report, click here.

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