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Joslin Diabetes Center, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, is the world's largest institution devoted exclusively to diabetes and its complications. This document includes descriptions of select inventions available for licensing from Joslin, along with links to more detailed descriptions and a listing of Joslin's entire invention portfolio.

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  1. 1. Inventions Available for Licensing Diabetes, Metabolic Disorders, Obesity, Diabetic Complications January 2009 Joslin Diabetes Center is the world's largest institution dedicated exclusively to diabetes. An affiliate of Harvard Medical School, Joslin has been internationally recognized for 110 years for its leadership in diabetes research, patient care and training. Today, Joslin’s research staff includes 11 laboratory sections dedicated to research in basic and clinical studies matching the range of diabetes causes and complications. Joslin's research staff and the clinical staff of its multi-specialty medical practice, the Joslin Clinic, together include internationally recognized scientists from multiple disciplines, providing an unparalleled range of research, treatment and education for people with diabetes. More information on Joslin’s research activities can be found at The following is a selection of Joslin inventions available for licensing. The list of Joslin’s complete portfolio of approximately 40 technologies, along with expanded descriptions, can be found at our website, at Therapeutics for Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolic Disorders Methods and Compositions for Inducing Brown Adipogenesis, C. Ronald Kahn, M.D., Yu- Hua Tseng, Ph.D. (JDP-100, JDP-101, JDP-128). Brown adipose tissue (BAT) cells more efficiently expend energy than the more prevalent white adipose (WAT) cells, and it is therefore believed that altering the balance between BAT and WAT cells could modulate a person’s weight. This portfolio of inventions features the use of bone morphogenic proteins (BMPs), either in vivo or ex vivo, to trigger the differentiation of adipocytes or pluripotent mesenchymal stem cells towards the brown fat lineage, as a strategy to combat obesity. Methods for Treating or Preventing Diabetes and Obesity using Salicylates, Steven Shoelson, M.D., Ph.D., Allison Goldfine, M.D. (JDP-106, JDP-109). Inflammation plays a key role in the pathogenesis of diabetes and insulin resistance. The invention features the use of the salicylate family of compounds to treat metabolic disorders, based on the ability of these compounds to inhibit inflammation by inhibiting the NF-κB pathway. The inventors have developed a body of clinical and preclinical data showing that administration of high doses of non-acetylated forms of salicylate is useful for preventing or retarding development of type 2 diabetes in obese subjects, and for preventing or retarding the development or progression of cardiovascular diseases, e.g., atheroma formation. Methods of Modulating Beta-Cell Function, Rohit Kulkarni, M.D., Ph.D., et al. (JDP-075). It has been found that overexpression of melanocyte concentrating hormone (MCH) results in increased plasma insulin concentration and increased pancreatic islet size. The invention comprises the use of MCH or fragments or analogs thereof, either in vivo or ex vivo, to promote β-cell growth either in Type 1 or Type 2 diabetic patients. (U.S. Patent Nos. 7,101,845 and 7,256,176).
  2. 2. Joslin Diabetes Center Inventions Available for Licensing -2- January 2009 Therapeutics for Diabetic Complications Diagnosing and Treating Diabetic Retinopathy and Other Eye Diseases. Edward Feener, Ph.D., and Lloyd P. Aiello, M.D., Ph.D. (JDP-097, JDP-117, JDP-118). Functional proteomics was used to identify factors contributing to the excessive increase in retinal vascular permeability observed in diabetic retinopathy. By comparing the vitreous protein composition of nondiabetic subjects and diabetic patients with or without active retinopathy, a number of proteins in a well-known pathway were identified whose levels are elevated in retinopathy, which might therefore be targets for drug development. One such protein is carbonic anhydrase-I (CA-I), which is being actively investigated as a target for drug development. Drug Targets for Therapeutics of Diabetes ARNT and ARNT2 – Novel Targets for Treatment of Diabetes. C. Ronald Kahn, M.D. and Jenny Gunton, Ph.D. (JDP-094, JDP-107). The transcription factor aryl hydrocarbon nuclear receptor translocator (ARNT) was found to be down-regulated in the diabetic individuals. The inventors then discovered that the homologous but separately-expressed ARNT2 has the opposite effect on glucose metabolism. These transcription factors are novel targets for drug development and therapeutic intervention against both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Stem Cells and Islet Cell Transplantation Methods Insulin Related Transcription Factor, Arun Sharma, Ph.D. (JDP-072). The invention is based on the identification of MafA as a glucose-regulated transcription factor which is known to control insulin expression in late stages of β-cell differentiation. The factor will be useful in differentiation protocols beginning with stem cells for the regeneration of functional β-cells. Methods of Making Pancreatic Islet Cells, Susan Bonner-Weir, Ph.D., et al. (JDP-044). This invention features a novel protocol in which mature pancreatic duct cells are induced to de-differentiate, and then to give rise to functioning islet cells. The invention overcomes many of the shortcomings of existing strategies for obtaining sufficient supplies of islets for cell transplantation therapies. (U.S. Patent No. 6,815,203). Methods of Generating Insulin-Producing Cells, Gordon Weir, M.D., et al. (JDP-124). This invention involves a new, potentially powerful protocol for generating insulin-producing cells having the properties of pancreatic β-cells, using as the starting material a cell type that has not previously been explored for this purpose. More complete descriptions of these and other inventions available for licensing from Joslin can be found at Or, for more information, please contact:: David J. Glass, Ph.D. Director, Technology Transfer Joslin Diabetes Center, Room 755C One Joslin Place Boston, MA 02215 Phone 617-732-2400, ext. 4793 Fax 617-732-2542