Startup acquired in $100M deal

After a record-setting year for technology commercialization at Ohio State, fiscal 2019 has started with exciting news for another startup connected to university research.

A global biotechnology company announced today that it is buying Celenex and 10 associated gene-therapy programs for rare disorders for $100 million. Celenex is based on research by Ohio State professor Arthur Burghes and two colleagues at Nationwide Children’s hospital, Drs. Brian Kaspar and Kathrin Meyer.

Through Ohio State’s equity stake in the company, the university expects to net $1.4 million from the transaction. Amicus Therapeutics is the buyer.

“With a strong and growing portfolio of Ohio State startups, the university is seeing continued momentum in technology commercialization,” said Michael Papadakis, interim senior vice president for business and finance and chief financial officer.

In fiscal 2018, Ohio State set record highs in licensing income (more than $7.9 million) and the number of startups (75 companies as of June 30). Among the highlights of the year was the $8.7 billion acquisition of AveXis, another gene-therapy company connected to Ohio State and Nationwide Children’s research.