Andrew Burke, Ph.D., began his career in technology transfer in 2013 in a fellowship position at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Technology Transfer Center (TTC).
Within months, his notable contributions stood out, and in October 2015 he successfully transitioned into a permanent role at the NCI TTC. Dr. Burke continues to excel as a technology transfer leader who adroitly leverages the unique role of technology transfer to help the NCI realize its mission of facilitating research, discovery and collaboration by fostering the transfer, development, and commercialization of NCI innovations for the betterment of public health.
When Dr. Burke joined NCI TTC, he was assigned a complex docket of highly active investigators from within the NCI’s Center for Cancer Research intramural program covering four laboratories and branches and over 180 research staff. Despite being relatively new to technology transfer, within18 months Dr. Burke negotiated and executed 45 material transfer agreements, 22 confidential disclosure agreements, 2 clinical trial agreements and 14 Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs) and amendments.
Now, as a permanent member of NCI’s technology transfer team, Dr. Burke’s professional achievements within the last year continue to demonstrate a mission-driven mindset and a willingness to innovate when new challenges offer an opportunity for new solutions. Dr. Burke’s consistent strategy of open, proactive communication—both to internal clients as well as potential external partners—continues to serve him, his labs and, by extension, NCI. For example, over the past year he initiated a dialogue between an intramural investigator and his long-term CRADA partner that allowed Dr. Burke to focus on critically analyzing the existing agreement and identifying ways it could better serve their evolving needs. The discussion resulted in two CRADA amendments, which he drafted and executed, providing the NCI lab with additional financial support and expanding the scope of the research plan to include development of a promising immuno-oncology therapeutic.
Dr. Burke’s consistent strategy of open, proactive communication—both to internal clients as well as potential external partners—continues to serve him, his labs and, by extension, NCI.
Within a few months in his new role, Dr. Burke managed the filing of provisional patent applications for five new invention disclosures, negotiated and executed two new license agreements, and finalized four additional substantive amendments to existing exclusive patent licenses. His comprehensive outreach efforts have further resulted in the submission of 13 additional exclusive patent license applications from various commercial partners, ranging from innovative startups to established large biotech companies, seeking to develop adoptive cell therapies for the treatment of cancer.
This promising form of cancer treatment, which involves the genetic engineering of a patient’s isolated immune cells to specifically recognize and attack cancerous tissues, has the potential to redefine the standard of care for many aggressive malignancies.
Dr. Burke’s contributions to TTC over his three-year tenure, and to a greater degree this past year, have been exceptional. His positive attitude and commitment to public service are indispensable to the work of NCI TTC, and have earned him the support and respect of his colleagues.