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U.Va. Patent Foundation Announces Inventor of the Year

Dr. Joel Linden, Prolific Inventor And Entrepreneur, Recognized For Developing Agent That Reduces Swelling

April 10, 2002-- The University of Virginia Patent Foundation has named Dr. Joel Linden the Edlich-Henderson Inventor of the Year for his work in developing a family of anti-inflammatory compounds that may avert paralysis in some patients with spinal cord injuries.

While his compounds cannot restore nerve connections for patients whose spinal cords have been severed, early tests show they can reduce the inflammation that damages surrounding tissue, which can cause paralysis as a secondary result of injury, said Robert MacWright, executive director of the U.Va. Patent Foundation.

In the past four years, Linden, a professor of cardiovascular medicine, molecular physiology and biological physics at U.Va., has collaborated with Timothy MacDonald, chair of the chemistry department, to develop a number of new compounds that activate the body’s adenosine receptors -- A2A compounds — and stop tissue damage due to swelling. In addition to spinal cord injuries, the anti-inflammatory compounds also may reduce tissue damage from loss of blood flow during heart surgery or organ transplants.

"Joel Linden is one of U.Va.’s most prolific inventors and a pioneering faculty entrepreneur," MacWright said. "We are pleased to recognize his important contribution in demonstrating that adenosine analogs can act as anti-inflammatory agents, and to recognize his even broader contributions toward the Patent Foundation’s goal of seeing that U.Va. inventions benefit the public."

The U.Va. Patent Foundation Award recognizes an invention with strong commercial potential and notable value to society. The invention may be used in treating disease, protecting the environment, in research or education, or in helping the disadvantaged, the disabled and the elderly.

Linden's research at U.Va. has been supported by the National Institutes of Health and through private funding from his biotech start-up company, Adenosine Therapeutics. Adenosine is in negotiations with several major drug companies to develop and test new drugs based on the results of his research.

Previous winners of the U.Va. Inventor of the Year Award are:

• 2001 — Doris Kuhlmann-Wilsdorf

• 2000 -- Ron Taylor

• 1999 -- John Herr

• 1998 — Not awarded

• 1997 -- Richard Guerrant and Timothy MacDonald

The Inventor of the Year Award was the brainchild of Dr. Richard Edlich, U.Va. professor emeritus and currently editor-in-chief of the Journal of Long-Term Effects of Medical Implants.

Christopher J. Henderson, president and chief financial officer of Robbins & Henderson, a New York firm specializing in financial and related services for institutions, has been active in promoting partnerships between universities and industry.

The U.Va. Patent Foundation is a not-for-profit Virginia corporation

affiliated with the University of Virginia that promotes the transfer of technology developed at the University to business and industry, so that products and therapies based on U.Va. research can directly benefit the public.

Contact: Joanna Gluckman, (434) 924-6858

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Contact the Office of University Relations at (434) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (434) 924-7550.

SOURCE: U.Va. News Services

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Last Modified: Wednesday, 10-Apr-2002 14:33:03 EDT
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