Drug development reaps research rewards
Raymond Bergeron, Ph.D., Duckworth Professor of Drug Development, has turned drug patent profits into an investment in research at the College of Pharmacy. The department of medicinal chemistry received a patent royalty payment of more than $400,000 from Genzyme Corp. and used the money to purchase a nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometer.
Patent income like this is extremely desirable, Bergeron said, because it would take $12.6 million in grant awards to generate comparable revenue to purchase the device.
The state-of-the-art NMR, with a superconducting magnet and a UNIX workstation, is used by researchers to determine chemical structure in the same way microbiologists use a microscope to examine cell structure. Pharmacy researchers now will have immediate access to the highly sensitive equipment necessary for analysis. Previously, they had to reserve time on similar equipment through UF’s McKnight Brain Institute. Because of the large number of researchers in the College of Medicine it sometimes meant waiting weeks, Bergeron said.
“Having this equipment will be quite a benefit to our department,” said Margaret James, Ph.D., department chairwoman. “It will make us more competitive in securing future grant awards and in recruiting top researchers.”