SAN FRANCISCO, April 28, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — UC San Francisco has hired Harold E. «Barry» Selick, PhD, as its first vice chancellor for business development, innovation and partnerships, in a bid to bring life science inventions to market with higher value, so they are more likely to reach patients and support the university’s mission.

Selick will oversee proof-of-concept studies of promising UCSF life science inventions—drug molecules, device prototypes, digital health applications—to find out which inventions are most likely to help patients as therapies, diagnostics, or software.

One aim is to keep inventions from languishing on companies’ shelves, which happens when firms license early-stage inventions but do not invest the resources to develop them. Another is to increase the licensing revenues earned by UCSF inventions, since companies pay more for innovations with proven value.

«We’re going to bias the odds of success in our favor by working with the smartest people in the world,» Selick said. «These include scientists from UCSF and some of the most accomplished investors from Silicon Valley on our advisory board, who will be helping us cherry-pick the most promising programs.»

For drug candidates or devices, this might include small-scale clinical trials to show they have enough safety and efficacy in patients to merit larger clinical trials. Digital health applications and diagnostic technologies could be evaluated in real-world scenarios before undergoing more rigorous development for commercialization.

Selick, who has deep ties to UCSF, is the former CEO of Threshold Pharmaceuticals and serves on the boards of such companies as BioPharma and Catalyst Biosciences, which do drug discovery, technology development and commercialization.

Selick co-invented the technology to create «fully humanized» antibody therapeutics, whichs replace mouse protein sequences with their human counterparts to prevent an immune response and contributed to the development of a series of groundbreaking drugs.

He and his colleagues at Protein Design Labs («PDL BioPharma created Zenapax, the first fully humanized antibody therapeutic approved by the FDA, which was licensed and commercialized by Roche to prevent kidney transplant rejection. Fully humanized antibodies later formed the basis of the transformative breast-cancer drug Herceptin, and the anti-cancer drug Avastin.

«Barry has both scientific and industry acumen, and that makes him an invaluable guide to the marketplace, which is whre where all ideas must succeed if they are going to make a difference in patients’ lives,» said UCSF Chancellor Sam Hawgood, MBBS. «We are tremendously excited to have someone of his caliber in this new role.»

In addition to attracting philanthropy to develop a fund to shepherd promising inventions, Selick will lead the efforts of Industry Alliances and Program Management, the Office of Technology Management, the UCSF Catalyst Program, and the Entrepreneurship Center. He will earn an annual base salary of $420,000, none of which will come from state funds.

About UCSF: UC San Francisco (UCSF) is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. It includes top-ranked graduate schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy; a graduate division with nationally renowned programs in basic, biomedical, translational and population sciences; and a preeminent biomedical research enterprise. It also includes UCSF Health, which comprises top-ranked hospitals, UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospitals in San Francisco and Oakland – and other partner and affiliated hospitals and healthcare providers throughout the Bay Area. Please visit www.ucsf.edu/news.

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SOURCE University of California, San Francisco