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CTL eNewsletter: April 2010

Cornell Startup, ADispell, Will Develop Treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease

Cornell University, Ithaca, New York - ADispell, Inc., a new startup based on licensed Cornell technologies, is pursuing new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease. ADispell, Inc. aims to develop drugs that prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease based on the invention of Dr. George Hess, Cornell Professor of Biochemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology, and Moataz M. Gadalla, a former Cornell undergraduate student, now at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine M.D.-Ph.D. program. The Cornell researchers discovered chemical compounds that may lead to disease-modifying drugs for Alzheimer’s.


Alzheimer’s disease takes a growing toll on our well-being; in 2006, there were 26.6 million sufferers worldwide and Alzheimer’s is predicted to affect one in 85 people globally by 2050.1 The mean life expectancy following a diagnosis is approximately seven years and few sufferers live more than fourteen years after the initial diagnosis.2 Currently, the disease is defined by the presence of abnormal twisted fibers inside neurons and excessive buildup in the brain of a protein called amyloid beta (AB) that causes placques to form. Hess and Gadalla found compounds that block the aggregation of the protein, thereby preventing the excessive plaque buildup associated with Alzheimer’s symptoms. These compounds hold promise because they are non-toxic and can easily cross the blood brain barrier.



ADispell, Inc. is led by Stephen Curry, CEO and Brad Gouldthorpe, CFO, both from Rochester, NY.

If you would like to know more about ADispell, Inc., please contact Alice Li at


1 Brookmeyer, R; Johnson, E; Ziegler-Graham, K; Arrighi, HM (July 2007). "Forecasting the global burden of Alzheimer’s disease." Alzheimer's and Dementia 3 (3): 186–91.

2 Mölsä PK, Marttila RJ, Rinne UK (August 1986). "Survival and cause of death in Alzheimer's disease and multi-infarct dementia". Acta Neurol Scand 74 (2): 103–7.

Weill Cornell Researchers Take First Steps Towards a Vaccine to Overcome Drug Addiction

Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY - Dr. Ronald Crystal, Chair of Genetic Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College and colleagues in his laboratory are conducting research that could one day be the basis for a vaccine to treat addiction to addictive drugs such as cocaine, nicotine, heroin and others. Anti-addiction vaccines have been slow to develop, despite their potentially enormous social benefit. A major obstacle in creating an effective vaccine is the small size of addictive drug molecules. Most addictive drug molecules are so small that they evade the body's immune system to cross the blood-brain barrier and slip undetected into the central nervous system, where they carry out the drug’s pleasure-inducing effects. Anti-addiction vaccines currently in development have so far shown either mixed or inconclusive results in clinical trials.


By linking a modified adenovirus to nicotine and other addictive drug molecules, Weill Cornell Medical College researchers have developed a potential vaccine for drug addiction that has already been shown to be effective in mice.


The method developed at Weill Cornell tackles the challenge posed by the small size of drug molecules by linking a modified adenovirus to the small addictive drug molecule. In earlier work, Dr. Crystal found that these modified adenoviruses act as particularly potent adjuvants and are able to activate the immune system. By linking a small addictive molecule to these modified viruses, the Weill Cornell investigators believed that it should be possible to generate enough antibodies against the addictive drug molecule sufficient to treat the addiction. Their preliminary results in mice show that this is indeed what occurs.


The Crystal team has already shown that the adenovirus vaccine is effective in protecting mice from the effects of addictive drugs. The next steps include demonstrating the effectiveness of the adenovirus vaccine platform in rats and non-human primates under conditions similar to human addiction. If proven effective in these experimental models, the treatment will be tested in humans in clinical trials.


The method is available for licensing and commercial development from the Cornell Center for Technology Enterprise and Commercialization (CCTEC). The technology has been broadly patented and interested parties are asked to contact Brian Kelly via e-mail at

CCTEC New Business & Emerging Technology Showcase™

Ithaca, New York -- CCTEC hosted a New Business & Emerging Technology Showcase™ on April 15th, during the annual Entrepreneurship@Cornell Celebration event in Ithaca, NY. The showcase featured promising Cornell technologies and unique business opportunities from both the Ithaca campus and Weill Cornell Medical College. Ten Cornell startups and 35 technologies were on display during the two hour event at the Statler Hotel. With over 150 attendees, inventors and company representatives engaged in networking conversations with Cornell alumni, faculty, students, staff and industry representatives.

The Entrepreneurship@Cornell Celebration event this year attracted over 700 participants. The two day event includes symposia from eleven participating groups, the final judging of two new business idea contests, a keynote address by the 2010 Cornell Entrepreneur of the Year, and a gala banquet hosted by President David Skorton.

“Dr. Martin Hicks, Department of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College, speaks with an attendee at CCTEC's New Business & Emerging Technology Showcase about an anti-addition vaccine.”

Inventions Roundtable™ – Medical Devices

Ithaca, New York -- CCTEC also held an Inventions Roundtable™ on April 16th with a technology theme of medical devices. Eight technologies, from both Ithaca and Weill Cornell Medical College, were presented to an invited group of industry representatives and experts. During lunchtime discussion, attendees provided useful feedback on the marketability, applications, and the commercialization approaches for each of the technologies. CCTEC licensing professionals benefited from the feedback tremendously.

CCTEC holds “technology theme based” Inventions Roundtable events throughout the year to seek input from experts. Previous Inventions Roundtables focused on diverse technologies such as molecular diagnostics, therapeutics & drug delivery systems for diseases of the central nervous system, and cancer diagnosis.

“Attendees at CCTEC’s Medical Devices Inventions Roundtable review the previously presented technologies and make recommendations during the lunch discussion period.”

Upcoming Events

BIO International Convention

Date: May 4-6, 2010
Time: 9:00AM - 5:00PM
Location: Chicago, IL

CCTEC will participate, along with Cornell University and Tompkins County Area Development, in the BIO International Convention in Chicago, IL from May 4 - May 6. CCTEC will meet with attendees and share information on technology transfer at Cornell University.

Cornell Reception @ BIO 2010

Date: May 4, 2010
Time: 6:30PM - 8:30PM
Location: Chicago Hyatt Regency McCormick Place

Cornellians, including alumni, business partners, and friends, are invited to join CCTEC professionals for a night of fun over drinks and hors d'oeuvres. This is a great opportunity to strengthen your "Cornell Connections," learn about technology opportunities at Cornell University, and hear about the Cornell BioPharma Network - part of CCTEC's CornellborationTM wikiportal.


This reception is sponsored by Miller, Matthias & Hull and Schwegman, Lundberg & Woessner.

Cornell University Reunion

Date: June 11-12, 2010
Time: 11:30AM - 2:00PM
Location: Barton Hall, Cornell campus

CCTEC will participate in the two-day Cornell Reunion Event to share information about Cornell's technology transfer efforts.

Drug Development Boot Camp

Date: September 9 and 10, 2010
Time: 9:00AM - 5:00PM
Location: Weill Greenberg Center Rooms A, B, & C, NYC

This two-day program will provide a unique opportunity to obtain a hands-on insight into the drug development process from drug discovery (designation of a lead), to registration. The major aspects of development will be considered in detail.

Recent Events

Entrepreneurship Seminar Series

Date: April 23, 2010

The topic of this seminar was "Upstate Venture Connect - What It Is and Why We Need It." The seminar speaker was Nasir Ali, CEO and co-Founder of Upstate Venture Connect.

Seminar & Social Hour™

Date: April 19, 2010

Professor Tom Brenna, Division of Nutritional Science, presented "Branched Chain Fatty Acids: A Novel Dietary Supplement for Intestinal Health," while attendees enjoyed drinks and hors d'oeuvres.

Click here to view photos from the event.

Seminar & Social Hour™

Date: March 30, 2010

Guests, along with CCTEC staff, listened to a presentation on cancer treatments by Professor Michael King from the Department of Biomedical Engineering.

Click here to view photos from the event.

Upstate New York Biocareer Connection

Date: March 16, 2010

Attendees gathered at Tompkins County Community College in Dryden, NY to learn about what Upstate New York has to offer in the field of bioscience. Exhibitors from across New York State were available to share advice and opportunities at the event. The panels focused on life sciences careers in the sectors of Research/Academia, Business/Industry, and Government/Non-Profit. Also, a fourth panel focused on best practices and common mistakes when searching for a job.

Click here to view photos from the event.

IP & Pizza™, Family Life Development Center, College of Human Ecology

Date: March 9, 2010

Attendees from the Family Life Development Center of the College of Human Ecology joined CCTEC for a discussion on copyright issues related to web trainings and web site development.

This event was sponsored by Hodgson Russ LLP.

Click here to view a photo from the event.

IP & Pizza™, Johnson Graduate School of Management

Date: March 5, 2010

CCTEC and the Johnson Graduate School of Management had a discussion on Cornell's Invention and Related Property Rights Policy over pizza and salad.

To view the policy, click here.

Click here to view a photo from the event.