UNLV Establishes Licensing Agreement with Able Therapeutics

Jun. 9, 2015

UNLV has reached a licensing agreement with Able Therapeutics, a start-up company that seeks to commercialize the discoveries of biochemistry professor Ernesto Abel-Santos. The company is researching, developing, and commercializing a novel compound designed to prevent Clostridium difficile (C. diff) infections. This serious, sometimes fatal, infection is often contracted in hospitals, surgery centers, and other health-care facilities. It is considered one of the fastest-growing epidemics in the U.S.

Abel-Santos, who is a company co-founder, is currently conducting additional research on the team’s findings. 

C. diff is a bacteria that forms spores that can stay in the environment or body for extended periods; under the right conditions, it can germinate, producing toxins and infecting those who are vulnerable, causing severe abdominal pain and uncontrollable diarrhea. Abel-Santos’ compound is designed to prevent the spores from germinating.

“The university has pursued a patent for this discovery through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and we are very enthusiastic about this start-up company,” said Zach Miles, Executive Director of Economic Development. He noted that Abel-Santos worked with College of Business entrepreneurship students, who developed a business plan for his company. The team won second place at the Southern Nevada Business Plan Competition.

For more information, contact the Office of Economic Development at 702-895-5200 or visit the office’s website at http://www.unlv.edu/research/econdev.