“They were fast. They were courteous. I’m always looking for ways that I can use Cognition IP. I’m a really big fan.” – Dr. Thaddeus Allen, Founder and CEO
Tradewind BioScience is a biotechnology startup developing antibody therapeutics to treat ovarian cancer. The company’s lead therapeutic target is a secreted protein that regulates cancer stem cells, angiogenesis, and cell survival, contributing to cancer progression. The antibody developed by Tradewind BioScience attacks primary cancer and inhibits metastatic development. This novel drug is especially promising for late-stage cancer patients.
Dr. Thaddeus Allen is the Founder of Tradewind BioScience. Dr. Allen has accumulated over 20 years of cancer research experience beginning with his study of Biology/Pharmacology at McMaster University. In 2004, Dr. Allen earned his Ph.D. from the University of Toronto. His accomplishments also include training in the laboratory of J. Michael Bishop, Nobel Laureate at the University of California, San Francisco.
Dr. Allen formed Tradewind BioScience in collaboration with Dr. Ron Buckanovich who studies ovarian cancer cell growth. Professor Buckanovich is the lead author on a patent, which Dr. Allen discovered online. Dr. Allen contacted the tech transfer office at Dr. Buckanovich’s University and was introduced. Interests aligned, and Tradewind BioScience was formed with the ambition of translating research discoveries into novel therapeutics for patients living with cancer.
Leading cancer researches team up to develop an antibody to stop the growth of tumors..
Intellectual property is not a foreign concept to the Tradewind BioScience team. The company’s foundation is built upon licensing its intellectual property from the University of Michigan, which was the basis for its first target. When the company began exploring a second target, Dr. Allen knew that it would be well-advised to better understand the IP landscape before allocating time and resources to research its pursuit. But Dr. Allen’s previous experience with law firms made him wary of requesting a freedom-to-operate opinion. “My ideas then were that if I wanted to get anything done, I had to go out there and find someone willing to help me – not knowing if that would be a good relationship. With some law firms, I know that you could pay $15-$20 thousand just as an initial retainer fee, and I didn’t have that kind of money.”
Dr. Allen’s reservations were assuaged upon meeting the Cognition IP team. He was pleasantly surprised by the law firm’s flat-fee pricing model and startup-bred efficiencies. Moreover, Dr. Allen was impressed with the small team’s breadth of knowledge and overall professionalism. This was overwhelmingly convincing to the founder, and he asked the Cognition IP team to prepare the desired freedom-to-operate opinion. Dr. Allen describes the partnership experience with Cognition IP, “They were fast. They were courteous. I was just a very early startup, knowing that I didn’t have much money at the time. Cognition IP treated us like we had lots of money. It was great.”
Cognition IP helps Tradewind BioScience to understand the IP landscape around the new target..
The Tradewind BioScience team leveraged the freedom-to-operate opinion prepared by Cognition IP in its pre-seed fundraising round. Says Dr. Allen, “It was incredibly useful for me at that stage. It was on another target, and I already had a previous one done on our first target. We were able to present that in pitch decks and show that we’ve made headway on one target previously, but we can easily work on this one too. In essence, we can develop a pipeline that makes sense based on the science we’ve developed. We still present information in this same way. It was excellent, and it helped me out quite a bit.”
Since Tradewind BioScience’s engagement with Cognition IP, the company’s founder has referred several other startups to the firm. Dr. Allen emphasizes, “People often ask me a lot of questions about IP. I’m always looking for ways that I can use Cognition IP. I’m just a really big fan.”