Pennington Biomedical names business development officer

David Winwood, a specialist at business building in other states, now is Pennington Biomedical Research Center’s first chief business development officer.

His job will be to commercialize research and technology developed at Pennington.

Pennington is a 234-acre LSU campus at 6400 Perkins Road. Its staff of more than 500 conducts basic, clinical and population research focused on the causes of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and dementia across 50 laboratories.

“With this investment in Dr. Winwood and the team and resources he will assemble, we are growing our business model to meet today’s research challenges,” William T. Cefalu, Pennington’s executive director, said Monday.

“Dave brings vast experience in cultivating new business initiatives and opportunities for commercialized technologies to the Pennington Biomedical team,” Cefalu added.

“Pennington Biomedical has a grand vision to lead the world in eliminating chronic diseases,” Winwood said.

Winwood said he hopes “to help bring this vision closer to fruition by working with these world-class scientists and clinicians.”

The expertise of those medical-science professionals makes Pennington “an attractive partner for organizations around the world,” Winwood added. “By building and strengthening relationships with those organizations, we should move closer to developing treatments and approaches to solving chronic diseases that will benefit many people.”

Grant support for creation of Pennington’s business development effort was provided by the Baton Rouge Area Foundation and the Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation, center officials said.

The practice of partnering research institutions with outside entities to help turn revolutionary discoveries into commercial ventures is not new.

The Johnson Space Center near Houston, for example, has a Technology Transfer and Commercialization Office from which advanced items ranging from miniature antennas to new treatments for atherosclerosis have emerged.

Winwood has more than 20 years of experience in this field.

He comes to Pennington from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he was senior associate vice president for economic development and innovation alliances, as well as chief executive officer of that school’s research foundation.

Winwood also worked on commercialization ventures at North Carolina State University.

He began his career at startup companies, and he worked in the Research Triangle near Raleigh, North Carolina.

Those efforts segued to commercialization efforts at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

And Winwood is a former associate vice president for knowledge transfer and commercialization at Ohio State University.

While working in the private sector at a company called Xenon Vision, Winwood said through Pennington Communications Director Alisha Prather, he was part of the early phase development of a drug known today as Lotemax.

Lotemax now is marketed by Bausch & Lomb for treatment of ocular inflammation. That company acquired the drug after Xenon Vision was sold in the early 1990s.

Winwood is active in several professional organizations related to the work he will perform for Pennington.

The new Pennington business developer is vice president for advocacy with an international technology transfer group, the Association of University Technology Managers. He also serves on the group’s executive committee.

Winwood also serves on the executive committee for the Council on Governmental Relations — a group of 190 research universities and member institutions wanting to maintain and strengthen working relationships with federal agencies.

And Winwood is on the executive committee for South East Bio. That group works for growth of the life sciences industry in the southeastern U.S. by promoting entrepreneurship.