Technology Innovation at GW: A Success Story

Akos Vertes, GW Chemistry Professor

Success Stories

The Technology Commercialization Office (TCO) licensed the George Washington University (GW) inventions to companies that developed them into products currently on the market or are undergoing human clinical trials. These products impact society by saving patients' lives, enabling cutting edge biological research, and helping cigarette smokers quit. Income from these successes has fueled more research at GW. The inventors of these innovations include students, who learned about the patent process and about product development, improving their career opportunities.

La Jolla Pharmaceutical Company (Nasdaq: LJPC), develops innovative therapies intended to significantly improve outcomes in patients suffering from life-threatening diseases. La Jolla entered into an exclusive worldwide license agreement for GW intellectual property rights covering the use of angiotensin II for the therapeutic treatment of patients with hypotension and shock. A few months after the license was completed, La Jolla began a phase 3 clinical trial of LJPC-501, La Jolla’s proprietary formulation of angiotensin II, in catecholamine-resistant hypotension (CRH). In 2017, La Jolla announced positive results from the completed phase 3 trial, with highly significant efficacy for restoration of patients' blood pressure and a trend toward longer survival. On December 21, 2017 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved GiaprezaTM (angiotensin II) for increasing blood pressure in adults with septic or other distributive shock. La Jolla plans to launch GiaprezaTM sales in March 2018.



Vector Space Systems licensed the Plasma Thruster technology developed in the laboratory of GW Professor Michael Keidar. The company was founded by one of the original SpaceX founding members and its innovative solutions help to connect space startups with reliable and affordable space access. Vector is leading space exploration with miniature satellites made from common materials that are significantly less expensive than their larger counterparts. In addition, Vector works to revolutionize the software behind these satellites by increasing their speed and access. The company uses two launch vehicles for their satellites: one launch vehicle (Vector R) launches 50kg into orbit; the second launch vehicle launch (Vector -H) launches 100kg into orbit. Both are the only launch systems that promote micro spacecrafts.


wellpassWellpass, Inc. helps smokers who want to quit now have an interactive mobile-based smoking cessation tool developed by Dr. Lorien Abroms of the Milken Institute School of Public Health at their disposal. Dr. Abroms developed the Text2Quit cessation program under sponsorship from the National Cancer Institute. The program offers customized educational messages based on the user's own quit-date and personalized advice on quitting. Wellpass, Inc., a mobile health service company, licensed the intellectual property behind the Text2Quit program from the university and developed a mobile delivery platform. Wellpass now offers Text2Quit on a subscription basis through employers, health plans and public health departments.