Arrowhead Research's NanoPolaris Acquires Assets of Unidym, a Carbon Nanostructure Electronics Company; Arrowhead Commits $7 Million to Scale Up Production and Device Integration
Prior to this transaction, NanoPolaris had assembled exclusive commercial rights to nanotube materials and processes developed at the California Institute of Technology, University of California at Los Angeles, Duke University, Pennsylvania State University, University at Buffalo, University of Toronto, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Tsinghua University. As appropriate, NanoPolaris will continue to execute its strategy of consolidating key technologies and intellectual property in this field.
“Combining the recent product development achievements by Dr. Gruener with the NanoPolaris patent portfolio creates significant value”
"Combining the recent product development achievements by Dr. Gruener with the NanoPolaris patent portfolio creates significant value," said R. Bruce Stewart, Arrowhead's Chairman. "We believe carbon nanomaterials represent the next technological revolution."
Existing products such as flat panel displays, touch screens, and solar cells use indium tin oxide (ITO) as the transparent electrode. ITO, however, has limitations in its performance, a dramatically increasing price, and is not optimally suited for integration into many existing and new device architectures. Unidym's carbon nanotube networks are mechanically flexible, can be deposited on lightweight plastics instead of heavy glass, and could be substantially more conductive than ITO.
"Our transparent and conductive nanotube networks are just the beginning of the transition to an electronics industry based on carbon. Expected subsequent products include nanotube thin film transistors that enable palm pilots to bend, electronic brochures to roll up, or low cost RFID tags. As one looks to the future, there is a strong possibility that carbon nanomaterials might be used to replace metal interconnects and silicon transistors," said Dr. Gruener. "Our strategy is to leverage our knowledge of these materials to develop and bring to market increasingly sophisticated electronic devices."
NanoPolaris acquired substantially all of Unidym's net assets, including its intellectual property, prototypes, and equipment, for a purchase price consisting of cash and shares of NanoPolaris common stock equal to 10% of NanoPolaris' outstanding voting stock at closing. At the closing of this acquisition, Arrowhead Research invested $3 million in NanoPolaris and committed up to $4 million of additional capital to NanoPolaris, with $2 million to be paid on the first anniversary of closing and the remaining $2 million to be paid on the second anniversary of closing.
About Arrowhead Research Corporation
Arrowhead Research Corporation (www.arrowheadresearch.com) is a diversified nanotechnology company structured to commercialize products expected to have revolutionary impacts on a variety of industries, including electronics, life sciences, and energy.
There are three strategic components to Arrowhead's business model:
-- Outsourced R&D Program: Arrowhead identifies patented or patent-pending technologies at universities or government labs and funds additional development of those technologies in exchange for exclusive rights to commercialize the resulting prototypes. Leveraging the resources and infrastructure of these institutions provides Arrowhead with a cost-effective development pipeline. Currently, Arrowhead is supporting efforts in drug discovery tools, stem cell technology, and nanoelectronics at the California Institute of Technology, Stanford University, and Duke University, respectively.
-- Commercialization Program: After prototypes have been sufficiently developed in the laboratories, Arrowhead forms or acquires majority-owned subsidiaries to commercialize the technology and provides the subsidiaries with strategic, managerial, and operational support. By doing so, each research team is able to maintain focus on its specific technology and each management team can focus on specific markets, increasing the likelihood of successful technological development and commercialization. At present, Arrowhead owns majority interest in subsidiaries commercializing diverse technologies, including anti-cancer drugs, RNAi therapeutics, compound semiconductor materials, and nanotube technology.
-- The Patent Toolbox: Arrowhead has acquired or exclusively licensed patents and patent applications covering a broad range of nanotechnology. The Company actively adds to its intellectual property portfolio.
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