Berg Biosystems works with Chicago-based Center for Applied Innovation and Children’s Memorial Hospital to make available potassium iodide to Japanese children

Posted on by Beth Wernet
Children take potassium iodide to avoid thyroid cancer

The Asahi Shimbun/Getty Images

CUPERTINO, CA (March 18, 2011) – Berg Biosystems, a Boston-based biopharma firm and the Chicago-based non-profit Center for Applied Innovation (CAI) announced today that they are accelerating the transfer of more than fifty (50) kilograms of potassium iodide active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) to Japan, seeking to protect Japanese children and nursing mothers in the wake of the current nuclear disaster.

The donation was the brainchild of Carl E. Berg, Chairman of Berg Biosystems and Silicon Valley visionary, who explained that, “both from the perspective of protecting future generations and carrying through the mission of Berg Biosystems – where possibility becomes a reality – the Berg Pharma, Inc. group of companies, which includes Cytotech Labs and Berg Diagnostics, knew we had to find a way to help.”

The donated material will be used to manufacture thousands of potassium iodide pills to combat radiation due to leaking radioactive iodine. The ingestion of iodide can help to prevent the accumulation of radioactive iodine in the thyroid. As reported by Bloomberg News, Japan has distributed 230,000 units of potassium iodide to evacuation centers surrounding nuclear plants, but shortages now exist.

Paul Y. Song, President-Chief Medical Officer of Cytotech Labs and a Los Angeles-based radiation oncologist, explained that potassium iodide is a safe and easy preventative step recommended for kids, nursing mothers, and pregnant women because of their increased susceptibility to the potential carcinogenic effects of radiation.

Berg Biosystems and the Center for Applied Innovation were planning to transfer the materials as part of the Invent for Humanity™ Technology Transfer Exchange Fair (www.InventforHumanity.org) next January in Geneva, Switzerland. “Given the events of last week, it was obvious that we could not wait until January to make this happen,” explained Niven R. Narain, President and Chief Technology Officer of Berg Biosystems. “There must be protection of humanity and sustainability for future generations for the innovation of today to even matter.”

“Carl Berg’s generosity serves as a leading example of the tech industry’s willingness and ability to make an impact,” noted James E. Malackowski, Chairman of Invent for Humanity and President Elect of the Licensing Executives Society International (LESI). The LESI Global Technology Impact Forum 2012 (www.GTIforum.org) is hosting the inaugural Invent for Humanity event.

Dr. Mary Hendrix, President of the Children’s Memorial Research Center in Chicago and a CAI Fellow served as a technology advisor to the transaction.

About Berg Biosystems, LLC
Berg Biosystems is a Boston, Massachusetts based company that employs a novel approach to systems biology and utilizes systems engineering and bioinformatic modules to cross-validate biological output. The Berg Interrogative BiologyTM Drug Discovery Platform allows for rapid and precise identification of therapeutic and biomarker candidates for drug discovery and development. The company uses network biology templates to mine disease pathophysiology.

About CAI
The
Center for Applied Innovation (CAI) is an Illinois non-profit corporation created to manage education, public policy outreach and related economic activity around applied technology and intellectual property (IP) rights in the State of Illinois and around the world. Applied technology is defined as proven IP or technology that is in use or was developed for a specific purpose and protected by patents and/or patent applications (as well as other forms of intellectual property such as trademarks and copyrights). CAI will examine the current environment and identify opportunities for IP to be utilized both in the State of Illinois and across the world to stimulate economic growth. The Center will create a critical mass of available resources and focus on redeploying existing IP, but will also encourage continued technology development.

Organized by CAI, the Invent for Humanity™ Technology Transfer Exchange Fair (Invent for Humanity) will take place in tandem with the LESI Global Technology Impact Forum 2012 in Geneva, Switzerland, January 24- 25, 2012. Invent for Humanity showcases field-ready, sustainable innovations, known as “appropriate technologies”, leveraging the experience of licensing professionals to match and structure the actual transfer of such technology to meet recognized needs of emerging market economies. For more information, visit InventForHumanity.org

About Children’s Memorial Research Center
Established in 1986, Children’s Memorial Research Center is the research arm of Children’s Memorial Hospital, the pediatric teaching hospital for
Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. The research center is also one of 29 interdisciplinary research centers and institutes of the Feinberg School, where principal investigators who are part of the research center are full-time faculty members. The mission of Children’s Memorial Research Center is to generate new knowledge leading to advancements in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases that affect children’s health through adolescence and adulthood. Our multidisciplinary teams of physicians, scientists, technicians, nurses and trainees are committed to making discoveries that will improve the lives of children and their families.

About the Licensing Executives Society International, Inc. (LESI)
Founded in 1972, the mission of the LESI is to function as a non-profit professional organization supporting LES member societies in: setting and maintaining global professional standards for licensing executives; facilitating professional networking between members of LES societies; providing quality educational content for member societies; and serving as liaison between leading global organizations and policy forums concerning the significance and importance of licensing and other transfer of technology and intellectual property rights. LESI represents more than 12,000 individual members in over 90 countries. Visit LESI.org for more information.

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