University Spin Game
Success is rare and slow for spinoff companies, but the potential rewards -- visibility and income - keep schools playing.
Technology: Breath-based substance detection for medical applications. Shown in photo: Richard Allen [Photo: Jeffrey Camp]
Richard Allen, CEO
Richard J. Melker, professor of anesthesiology, pediatrics and biomedical engineering at the University of Florida; chief technology officer of Xhale
Donn Dennis, professor in the Departments of Anesthesiology, Psychiatry and Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics in the College of Medicine and director of Nanomedicine at the University of Florida; chief science officer of Xhale
Spun off: 2005
Sales: Expected to begin in 2009
Market: Pharmaceutical and diagnostic companies
Xhale’s hand-held device technology lets pharmaceutical companies conducting clinical trials determine if patients are taking the medications being tested. The company is researching a way for diabetics to check their blood glucose level by blowing into the hand-held device rather than drawing blood.
Allen teamed up with Melker and Dennis after leaving one of UF’s most successful spinoffs, Regeneration Technologies, and setting up Synogen, a firm that helps create medical technology companies. With his experience and connections, he’s raised $10 million, even though Xhale won’t make its first sales at least until 2009.