The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center helped spark a number of groundbreaking spin-off companies in recent years, from publicly-traded Juno Therapeutics to Blaze Biosciences which just this week announced the first clinical trials for its innovative tumor paint technology.
Now, the powerful non-profit cancer research organization has tapped an industry veteran to lead its technology commercialization efforts.
Nicole Robinson today was named vice president of industry relations and business development, with a start date of next month. She joins from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center where she served as Assistant Vice President of the Center for Technology Commercialization. At Cincinnati Children’s, Robinson increased the medical center’s invention disclosures tenfold and doubled the active commercial licenses executed. Those efforts resulted in more than $60 million in licensing revenue.
“What’s always impressed me with Fred Hutch is its mission-centric focus and that everyone in the organization is committed to the research and science that will have lifesaving impact,” Robinson said in a press release. “I’m thrilled to be joining the Hutch and to help accelerate the early stage discoveries that we’re making that can lead to the next breakthrough and change the outcome for the patient.”
Robinson is not the only fresh face at the Fred Hutch.
Dr. Gary Gilliland, an expert in cancer genetics and the former vice president of precision medicine at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine, was named president last November.
“With a proven record of translating basic science discoveries into commercialized products Niki is exceptionally well qualified to shape and build Fred Hutch’s ongoing efforts to increase the use of its intellectual property in products and care programs that improve human health,” said Gilliland. “We are in this for patient benefit and the resources generated from our investments in this area will be used to reinvest into our research and discovery efforts.”
More than two dozen companies have been started with technologies from the Fred Hutch in the past 35 years.