Our Fight Against COVID-19

Intro Message

As COVID-19 has changed the way we work, live, research and communicate, the UK OTC team has been giving considerable thought as to how we can best assist in the fight against COVID-19. While we recognize that the landscape is quickly evolving, what follows are the initial steps we’ve taken as an organization to support our researchers, connect our potential research partners, move COVID-19 relevant technologies into the marketplace more quickly, and help facilitate and showcase activities by UK startups, innovators and regional companies in support of front-line health care workers. Now more than ever, we are inspired to demonstrate how our university’s innovative and entrepreneurial spirit can energize a community and do our part to help solve the world’s biggest challenges.

Ian McClure
Executive Director

UK Office of Technology Commercialization

For Outside Partners

UK's COVID-19 Technology Portfolio

For inquiries related to any of the technologies, please contact otcinfo@uky.edu or one of our commercialization managers.


  • Antibody Assay for COVID-19
    Innovator: Vince Venditto
    Contact: Raja Krishnan, Commercialization Manager
    Description: Through strategic collaborations with the College of Medicine and the College of Pharmacy we are developing a high throughput serologic assay to screen hundreds of samples per day for antibodies targeting SARS-CoV-2.
  • Anti Fungal Therapeutics
    Innovators: Sylvie Garneau-Tsodikova and David Watt
  • Cell Therapy
    Innovators: Jill Kolesar, Christopher Richards
  • Clinical Trial to Test Known Drug for Treatment of COVID-19
    Innovator: Vivek Rangnekar
    Contact: Raja Krishnan, Commercialization Manager
    Description: As funding becomes available, the plan is to start a clinical trial of hydroxychloroquine (with and without azithromycin) n COVID-19 positive cancer patients who are undergoing immunotherapy or chemotherapy.
  • Liposomal Azithromycin Technology Targeting Inflammation
    Innovator: Vince Venditto
    Description: Liposomal azithromycin (L-AZM) was developed for its ability to modulate the immune response during inflammatory responses. While studied in other diseases, L-AZM serves as a potential treatment option for COVID-19. 
  • Orally Administered Zinc in the Treatment of COVID-19
    Innovator: Hunter Moseley
    Contact: Raja Krishnan, Commercialization Manager
    Description: Zinc represents a highly available nutrient that can be administered in the possible therapeutic dosage range of 100 mg to 200 mg per day for short periods of time with no appreciable toxic effects. Additionally, oral zinc treatment may be synergistic with other drugs being actively studied and used in the treatment of COVID-19. 


  • Antiviral Membrane Mask
    Innovator: Dibakar Bhattacharyya
    Contact: Natasha Jones, Commercialization Manager
  • Forced Air HEPA Filter Box/Manifold for PAPR Hood
    Innovator: Charles Jon Fletcher
    Contact: Raja Krishnan, Commercialization Manager
    Description: A HEPA filter/manifold for a powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR) hood may provide an alternate purified air source for healthcare providers.
  • Intubation/Extubation Barrier Sheet
    Innovator: Mehdi Khosravi
    Contact: Raja Krishnan, Commercialization Manager
    Description: This invention is a barrier to protect healthcare workers involved in intubation and/or extubation of patients infected with respiratory pathogens from the patient's aerosolized secretions.


  • Covered Safe-Entry Scanner
    Innovator: Hank Dietz
    Contact: OTC
    Description: The proposed invention is designed to facilitate a safe return to school or work. The proposed safe-entry scanner utilizes one or more cameras to capture facial images of individuals to confirm a properly worn face mask. The scanned data from the imaging could also be combined with identification information to aid in contact tracing.  Although facial recognition could be utilized, the preferred method would be the use of RFID or printed QR codes. 

UK COVID-19 Licensing Guidelines

In hopes of speeding the dissemination of relevant technologies, we have prepared a COVID-specific end-user license agreement to remove barriers to use and research. If, when assessing our portfolio, you identify technology with a specific application for your use in COVID-19 research, please reach out to a member of our staff for options in this regard.

We are showing our commitment to adhere to the AUTM principles for managing and licensing intellectual property (IP) related to the fight against COVID-19.

In collaboration with AUTM, Association of American Universities (AAU), Association of Public & Land-Grant Universities (APLU), and 50+ universities, we are following the below COVID-19 licensing guidelines.

COVID-19 Licensing Guidelines

AUTM supports expediting research from academic and government labs around the world to the public for the good of society, as exemplified in the 2007 Nine Points to Consider in Licensing University Technology framework. In recent days, the COVID-19 pandemic has moved the work of technology transfer offices from university and other non-profit research organizations to the battle’s front line. In order to support our Membership worldwide and enable a swift end to the crisis, AUTM is providing these guidelines, which are consistent with the Association’s long-standing support for humanitarian licensing.

  1. Technology transfer accelerates innovations that impact society and promotes the broad distribution of public health solutions. We encourage intellectual property (IP) owners to adopt a COVID-19 licensing strategy that facilitates rapid pandemic response by licensees and to make the execution of associated transactions a top priority.
  2. For most technologies, where legally possible, this strategy is best accomplished by adopting time-limited, non-exclusive royalty-free licenses, in exchange for the licensees’ commitment to rapidly make and broadly distribute products and services to prevent, diagnose, treat and contain COVID-19 and protect healthcare workers during the pandemic (as defined by the World Health Organization).
  3. Licenses may subsequently convert to a more typical commercial license as appropriate. Licenses must also preserve the licensor’s freedom to publish and use the intellectual property for teaching and research.


UK COVID-19 Research Collaboration Form

UK's Office of Technology Commercialization is actively looking for ways to leverage our network of startups, entrepreneurs, innovators, venture capitalists and industry partners in the fight against COVID-19.

We encourage regional companies to donate their personal protective equipment to front-line health care workers in the state.

We are also supporting research, testing, and related work to more rapidly research, develop, and evaluate emerging and alternative technologies and resources in this fight.

We encourage companies and institutions interested in collaborating in this effort to complete our COVID Research Collaboration Form.

For UK Innovators

Support Statement

If you are a researcher at the University of Kentucky pursuing work that may help in the fight against COVID-19, we are here to help. Please reach out to a member of our staff today to discuss how we might be able to assist.

For more information on the UK Office of Research's response to COVID-19, please visit their COVID-19 page.

UK COVID-19 Research Activity Submission Form

This form should be submitted to let the university know about any ongoing, repurposed, proposed, or new research at UK that is aimed at our fight against COVID-19 so that we can help facilitate these activities and monitor opportunities for collaboration, funding, commercialization, or other support.

Food & Drug Administration (FDA) Compliance Guidance and Regulations

The VPR recently appointed a GLP Oversight Committee to assist in research requiring either Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Good Laboratory Practices (GLPs) at the University of Kentucky. GLPs are very specific regulatory requirements for conducting non-clinical studies to support applications for research or marketing permits on products regulated by the FDA or EPA. FDA GLP’s can be found under 21 CFR Part 58 and EPA GLPs are found under 40 CFR Part 160 for pesticides and 40 CFR Part 792 for toxic substances.

If you plan on conducting GLP research, or have current GLP research, please notify the committee chair, Jim Geddes (jgeddes@uky.edu). Notification is required prior to initiating GLP studies.


Food and Drug Administration (FDA):