UM Regents OK 10 Conflict-of-Interest Items

Ten items disclosed under the state’s conflict-of-interest statute were authorized by the University of Michigan board of regents at their Nov. 15, 2012 meeting. The law requires that regents vote on potential conflict-of-interest disclosures related to university staff, faculty or students.

The items often involve technology licensing agreements or leases. This month, all items were approved unanimously and without discussion. They related to the following businesses and organizations: ImBio LLC, BHJ Tech Inc., Newline Builders, Arborlight LLC, Arbor Ultrasound Technologies LLC, HiperNap LLC, Inmatech Inc., the Institute for Social and Environmental Research Nepal, PsiKick Inc., and Lycera Inc.

By way of example, the Lycera disclosure is required because four people who have an ownership stake in the company – Gary Glick, Anthony Opipari, James Ferrara and David Canter – are also employed by the university. [.pdf of Lycera disclosure] Lycera is developing treatments for autoimmune diseases, and plans to buy a company called JBL Pharma, which licenses technology from UM. As part of the purchase, Lycera will hold an exclusive license for that technology, in exchange for royalty payments on sales and the reimbursement of patent costs. In addition, the university has the option of investing up to $2.5 million in this business, as part of the Michigan Investment in New Technology Startups program (MINTS) that regents authorized in December of 2011.

This report was filed from the Anderson Room at the Michigan Union on UM’s central campus in Ann Arbor, where the regents held their November meeting.