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An Ohio University Professor Is Growing Biotech Commercialization


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JD Kittle is an Ohio University faculty member in chemistry and biochemistry but he also is helping develop new companies to commercialize and optimize biotech discoveries – some of those companies are based in Athens.

He is the founder of Molecular Technologies Laboratories (MTL), an Innovation Center Company and he also is a principal in the Columbus based company Applied Biomolecular Technologies LLC.

He recently talked with WOUB’s Tom Hodson about this region being a catalyst for scientific innovation.

MTL, created in Athens, engineers bacterial genomes to “optimize protein function and expression.”

MTL has developed technology for genetically engineering superior microbial strains and protein products while reducing the costs of process development and production, according to Kittle.

“MTL also does gene/protein sequence optimization and processing optimization,” Kittle says
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Applied Biomolecular Technologies, Inc. (ABT), based in Columbus, is trying to take research from academic laboratories and putting it into the marketplace. The company now has 23 employees and three labs, including one in Athens.

APT conducts scientific research for other larger companies on a contract basis but it also takes equity interests in smaller biotech startup companies to promote growth.

Kittle, along with three other partners, also have formed a holding company called Applied Bio Ventures to manage the interests the four have in various companies – including some Athens based businesses.

Over the next year, the group will be trying to raise more money to advance technology that it has already licensed from larger entities.