UO spinoff MitoSciences purchased by international company

EUGENE, Ore. -- May 24, 2011 -- MitoSciences, a University of Oregon technology spinoff, has been acquired for $6 million in cash and shares by Abcam plc of Cambridge, England.

Eugene-based MitoSciences was founded in 2004 by UO professors Roderick Capaldi and Michael Marusich to advance efforts to understand the role of mitochondria (structures responsible for energy production in cells) in human diseases.

"MitoSciences's success story is exactly what the University of Oregon's technology transfer efforts are all about: An idea born in research is turned into commercial applications that benefit Oregon's economy, and, in this case, goes on to benefit health-related pursuits around the world," said Rich Linton, the UO's vice president for research and graduate studies.

At the time of Abcam's announced acquisition, MitoSciences, which employs 26 people under General Manager Jean-Paul "John" Audette, a UO alum, was considered a leading developer of anti-mitochondrial antibodies, mitochondrial assays and products and services for mitochondrial toxicity screening. These antibodies are crucial in the study of altered metabolism in neurodegeneration, aging, diabetes, obesity and cancer. Abcam plans to expand MitoSciencesā€™ operations in Eugene.

Abcam, which also has offices in the United States, Japan and China, boasts a catalog of 72,000 products including in-house-developed and third-party-produced antibodies as well as non-antibody products including proteins, peptides, lysates and immunoassays.

MitoSciences is part of a growing portfolio of 17 Oregon-based companies with close, innovation-based links to UO research. In aggregate, these small, private-sector businesses employed 255 Oregonians and generated $32.9 million in revenue during 2010 alone. Overall, the UO generates more than $7 million annually in intellectual property licenses and agreements, placing the UO among the top 25 nationally for return on research investment through innovation.