Tech Advancement

MU Appoints Buntaine to Move Health Sciences Discoveries to Market

Story Contact: Laura Roloff,, 573-884-0023

Photo of Brian Buntaine, senior licensing associate, MU Office of Technology Management & Industry Relations.

Brian Buntaine, senior licensing associate, MU Office of Technology Management & Industry Relations.

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COLUMBIA, Mo. (Nov. 28, 2016) — The University of Missouri's Office of Technology Management & Industry Relations (OTMIR) welcomes Brian Buntaine, the new senior licensing and business development associate responsible for protecting health sciences inventions and innovations and facilitating pathways for their conversion into new products and businesses. Paul Hippenmeyer previously served in this role.

“The OTMIR team acts as a conduit between corporations, investors, entrepreneurs and innovators to transfer technologies into the marketplace, where research can truly benefit society,” says Chris Fender, OTMIR director. “Brian brings a wealth of knowledge to MU. He's a skilled business development professional and a scientist with expertise in molecular biology, nucleic acid technologies, proteomics and genomics.”

Buntaine evaluates inventions, negotiates intellectual property agreements, files patents and arranges legal and business development assistance for inventors from the MU Schools of Medicine, Nursing and Health Professions and from interdisciplinary initiatives like the university's Coulter Translational Partnership Program.

“Brian will be working with researchers to protect the biomedical innovations that are essential to the Coulter Program's success,” says Cynthia Helphingstine, Coulter program director. “Coulter brings engineers and clinicians together to find solutions for unmet medical needs, and then provides funding and other resources needed to get the solutions to a point that they attract investors or industry partners.”

Buntaine has spent more than 15 years in the life sciences industry. He began his career as a lab manager at Washington University in St. Louis. In 2003, Buntaine joined Sigma-Aldrich where he worked as a research and development scientist and led interdepartmental teams in evaluating new ventures and markets. Before leaving the St. Louis-based business, now a subsidiary of German company Merck KGaA, Buntaine was a senior manager of licensing and business development in genomics, proteomics, food safety and clinical diagnostics.

“I've spent many years supporting the later-stage commercial development of technologies for industry,” Buntaine says. “I'm very excited now for the opportunity to focus earlier in the process, closer to the origins of innovation.”

Market successes from MU's health sciences area include Zegerid, a heartburn medicine with net sales of more than $1.25 billion; EternoGen, a company that licensed MU technology for collagen-based products and has secured $8.5 million in financing to date; and Nanopore Diagnostics, a business that is leveraging $1.2 million in seed funding toward the development of a rapid, point-of-care test for diagnosing bacterial infections.

Buntaine earned a master's degree in molecular and cellular biology from Washington University in St. Louis and a master's degree in business administration and a bachelor's degree in biology from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. He and his wife, Elizabeth, have four children.

OTMIR is part of MU's division of Research, Graduate Studies and Economic Development. In FY2014, the University of Missouri System ranked in the top 25* nationally for total gross licensing revenue, 95 percent of which came from Mizzou. In the last five years, OTMIR generated $46.3 million in licensing revenue. Thirty-five percent of issued U.S. patents in MU's portfolio are licensed and in various stages of the commercialization process.

Health sciences faculty, staff and students who think they have commercially viable innovations should contact the following OTMIR professionals early in the discovery process:

Brian Buntaine, MBA, MS
Senior Licensing & Business Development Associate
NW503 Health Sciences Center

Charlie Hanford, JD
Licensing Assistant
NW504 Health Sciences Center

* Ranking based on Association of University Technology Managers FY2014 survey data, the most recent available.


Last Updated: February 1, 2019