Page 4              November 1999     

"Light of the Yellow Star"
Glaxo, U reach settlement on drug
The Heritage Trail
News Briefs

Back Home 

'Light of the Yellow Star'

“Light of the Yellow Star—A Lesson of Love from the Holocaust,” an exhibit by Pediatrics Professor Robert Fisch, was featured at the Minneapolis Institute of the Arts this fall. The exhibit included 17 paintings and prose by Fisch, who was imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp during World War II. Fisch also has displayed his work at the Weisman Art Museum. The theme of the exhibit is the triumph of the human spirit over tragedy. The painting and excerpt above are published in Fisch’s book, “Light of the Yellow Star,” which is available at the Weisman and Minneapolis Institute of the Arts.

Glaxo, U reach settlement on drug to treat AIDS

Glaxo Wellcome PLC has agreed to pay the University royalties from the company’s worldwide sales of Ziagen©, an antiviral drug used to treat AIDS.

The agreement settles a lawsuit brought by the University in October 1998, in which it claimed that Ziagen is among several antiviral compounds first patented in the 1980s by College of Pharmacy professor Robert Vince and subsequently licensed to Glaxo.

Vince and research assistant Mei Hua, both of the College of Pharmacy, created “carbovir,” a series of antiviral compounds that are contained in Ziagen.

“This case was brought to defend the intellectual property of our University and its outstanding faculty,” said President Mark Yudof. “As a result of this settlement, Minnesotans will reap a significant ongoing return on their investment in this great institution.”

Under the terms of the settlement, finalized Oct. 4 in U.S. District Court in St. Paul, Glaxo will pay the University a percentage of sales income on a sliding fee scale. The University will receive five percent of the first $300 million in worldwide sales, seven percent of sales from $300 million to $700 million, and 10 percent of sales over $700 million annually. In addition, the University was to receive a one-time payment of $7.25 million in October.

According to U estimates, the annual royalties could range from $6 million in 1999 to more than $30 million when Ziagen sales peak. Based on current estimates, total royalties could exceed $300 million. About a third of the University’s royalties will go to Vince, and 5 percent will go to Hua. The remaining two-thirds will be used to support scientific research and education at the University by:

“The success of this drug is an excellent example of the importance of combining the results of fundamental academic research sponsored by the NIH with the development of a drug by the pharmaceutical industry,” said Vince, a professor of medicinal chemistry. “I am absolutely thrilled that our discovery is now being used in the treatment of AIDS patients.”

News Briefs

Campaign Minnesota seeks $1.3 billion

On Oct. 21, the University kicked off Campaign Minnesota, a fund-raising venture seeking to raise $1.3 billion by 2003.
The campaign is one of the most ambitious ever for an American public university, calling for an additional $540 million for the University’s endowment and and $760 million for current program support.

Funding priorities are to attract and retain faculty, attract students, and support research. AHC goals are: $335 million for the Medical School; $15 million for the School of Medicine-Duluth; $50 million for the School of Public Health; $28 million for the College of Veterinary Medicine/Raptor Center; $8 million for the School of Dentistry; $8 million for the School of Nursing; $8 million for the Center for Spirituality and Healing; and $6 million for the College of Pharmacy.

U tenants begin move to Gateway building

Tenants began moving into the office block portion of the Gateway Building on Oct. 15 and will continue through Dec. 17.

The Gateway was officially named in a dedication ceremony on Oct. 29. The grand opening, however, won’t be until the weekend of Feb. 12 when the Heritage Gallery and some public portions of the alumni center are expected to be complete.

Among other things, the Gateway will house the Board of Regents, the University of Minnesota Federal Credit Union, the University of Minnesota Foundation, the University of Minnesota Alumni Association, the Minnesota Medical Foundation, the Office of Research and Technology, the Center for Adolescent Health, and the Center for Study of Human/Animal Relationships & Environments. Most offices will retain their U phone numbers.

When complete, the $45 million, six-story, 230,000-square-feet building will be occupied by 700 employees.

U wins NIH cancer grant
A $9 million grant from the National Institutes of Health will help University researchers study and reduce nicotine levels in cigarette smokers. The five-year project, led by Dorothy Hatsukami, psychiatry, and Steven Hecht, Cancer Center, will explore techniques to reduce smoking in those for whom conventional methods have not been successful. A recent National Cancer Institute study showed that 80 percent of smokers cannot or will not quit.

Caution: inspect your mail
An animal rights activist group called “The Justice Department” mailed at least seven envelopes containing razor blades to primate research facilities around the U.S. on Oct. 25.

The envelopes were note-sized, had handwritten addresses, and were postmarked Las Vegas.

Please use caution when handling any mail that has no return address, an unfamiliar return address, excess postage, or special sealants such as tape.

If you receive any suspicious mail, notify the police immediately and handle as little as possible.


The Heritage trail

This University of Minnesota Heritage Marker was installed between the Phillips-Wangensteen and Mayo buildings in September. Among other things, the marker traces the beginning of the University's health sciences and includes such photos as the first graduating class of the School of Nursing (1912). The first five University Heritage Markers were installed on Beautiful U Day 1998. Seven more were installed at this year's event, held Oct. 27 and 28. When complete in 2001—in time for the University's Sesquicentennial—a total of 30 markers will make up the University of Minnesota Heritage Trail, a self-guided historical walking tour.

Photo by Mark Engebretson

Top of Page  |Back Home