Watch the 2024 John Edwardson, ’72, Social New Venture (SNVC) Finals today at 9:15am - 4pm CT!
Click here to watch
Research Ventures

Research Ventures

Partnerships and Licenses

The Polsky Center creates partnerships and licenses with companies to help speed development of therapeutics and develop technologies with powerful potential.

  • The University negotiated a $25M partnership and option between Celgene and the Recombinant Antibody Network, an international consortium involving UChicago, UCSF and UToronto) to develop next-generation cancer therapies.
  • UChicago and AbbVie, a global biopharmaceutical company, entered into a multi-year, multi-million dollar research alliance to advance cancer research.
Research-Based Startups


  • Methylnaltrexone, a drug developed at the University of Chicago to relieve one of the major side effects of pain therapy for cancer patients. The subcutaneous form of methylnaltrexone was approved by the FDA in 2008 for use in the treatment of opioid-induced bowel disorders in patients receiving palliative care for advanced illness, and in 2014 for patients taking opioids for non-cancer pain. The oral formulation was approved by the FDA in 2016. The drug blocks the side effects of most opioid-based pain killers, including constipation, without disrupting pain relief.


  • The University of Chicago and the Reliance Foundation are working to implement innovative technology that will help train medical students and clinicians to provide better diagnoses and improved health care. These tools, provided through TCL licensees i-Human Patients, Inc. and AgileMD, will work to reduce diagnostic errors, improve outcomes and help save many lives.


  • PhysIQ, a company that grew out of research at Argonne National Laboratory and TCL, uses technology that analyzes health care data such as heart rate, blood pressure and respiration to determine whether clinical attention is needed.


  • Polsky Center licensee Electrochaea uses a patented strain of methanogenic archaea, a single-celled microorganism that has populated Earth for billions of years, to catalyze electricity generated by the sun or wind to convert water and carbon dioxide into methane, the chief ingredient of natural gas. This allows solar and wind energy that would otherwise be wasted to be stored safely.


  • After the discovery of Spinosaurus, the largest predatory dinosaur ever, TCL worked with University of Chicago paleontologist Paul Sereno, the National Geographic Society, and other key parties to negotiate the many agreements with internal, external and international institutions necessary to bring to life a multi-faceted program that included an exhibit, a film, a magazine story, and a number of media appearances and talks by the researchers.

4th Edition of Everyday Math

  • Each year approximately 4.3 million students in 220,000 U.S. classrooms use Everyday Mathematics, a comprehensive pre-K through grade 6 mathematics program developed by the University of Chicago School Mathematics Project and distributed by the Polsky Center’s Technology Commercialization and Licensing team. Publishing company McGraw Hill recently released the 4th Edition of Everyday Math, which includes a fully digital version of the curriculum.

R2 Technology

  • TCL startup R2 Technology, developed a University computer-aided detection technology for detecting cancer early in mammograms. R2 Technology ran the clinical trials that led to FDA approval and facilitated reimbursement for the technique; enabling the technology to successfully reach the market. As a result, millions of women have experienced improved outcomes due to better breast cancer detection. Hologic purchased R2 Technology in 2006.


  • SmartSignal, a Polsky Center startup based on patented technology developed at Argonne National Laboratory, provided software and services that monitor machinery and equipment, analyze data, and diagnose developing problems before they become serious. SmartSignal was acquired by GE in 2011.


  • Arryx, a Polsky Center startup based on University technology that allowed researchers to handle cells and other microscopic objects in a laboratory, was acquired by Haemonetics, the world’s largest manufacturer of automated blood processing systems. Arryx helped Haemonetics expand its products and services into immunodiagnostics, a huge and growing field.


  • UChicagoImpact, a wholly University-owned non-profit company developed by Polsky Tech Commercialization, was launched to develop on education technologies from the Urban Education Institute, UChicagoImpact provides empirically based tools and supporting services that drive school improvement across the nation. Last year, every school in Illinois took UChicagoImpact’s 5Essentials Survey, which reliably measures change in a school organization, predicts school success through scoring and provides individualized actionable reports to school leadership and teachers.

This site uses cookies and other tracking technologies to assist with navigation and your ability to provide feedback, analyze your use of products and services, assist with our promotional and marketing efforts.