Having run a fairly successful part-time private business from the Case Western Reserve University campus from 1978-81 (Biopolymer Corp.), Alan moved from academics in 1981 to be founder, president and CEO of one of the first biotechnology companies, University Genetics. The company was originally founded to enhance and commercialize university-based inventions and the company had exclusive licenses to patent or sell all inventions from 12 major universities and non-exclusives with 71.
Perhaps the most successful company founded based on licensing alone was Applied Bioscience, one of the biggest lasting successes in the biotech industry.
University Genetics - UGEN - was virtually financed with $60,000 of equity and a $2.3 million R&D partnership. In 1983 the company went public (symbol UGEN) and in 1986 completed a secondary offering in which the original investors were bought out for $3.6 million, giving them a 60X return on investment in 5 years.
The company’s strategy evolved into funding start-up companies in incubators and exit either through sale or IPO. Chief operating divisions were Applied Animal Genetics, which was in the business of implementing and exporting superior bovine embryos, and Applied Plant Genetics whose principal business was cloning rare miniature plants.
Alan resigned as chairman and CEO to become a partner at Oxford Partners (Venture Capital). UGEN had about 150 employees and a revenue run rate of about $17 million per year.
After three tough years I took the company public and returned 60X the initial investment to the original investors!