Liggins Institute

Commercial partnerships

Our links with industry allow us to undertake innovative translational research.

We have increased our research revenue and capability by developing innovative and strategic partnerships particularly in the food and pharmaceutical industries. In many cases these have been made possible by the international credibility we have established through our research collaborations with leading international universities such as the Universities of Cambridge and Southampton in UK and the National University of Singapore and the Epi Gen research consortium.

Intellectual property resulting from research at the Liggins Institute has been or is being further developed into commercial applications by spin out biotechnology companies Neuren Pharmaceuticals Ltd, BrainZ Instruments Ltd and Saratan Therapeutics Ltd.

All commercial contracts and relationships are managed through Auckland Uniservices Ltd.


The Liggins Institute is committed to maximising the benefit of its research for New Zealand and, where appropriate, seeing its research translated into effective therapies. Accordingly, in some areas it has licensed its intellectual property to the pharmaceutical industry or to start-up companies associated with the Institute. The terms of these arrangements provide funds which can be committed to public good (ie, non-commercial and cutting-edge) research within the University. In accordance with University policy and international practice in developing start-up companies, some staff will, or could, personally benefit from interest in these start-up initiatives.

The University and, therefore, the institute have taken this approach with the aim over time of increasing the capacity of the University and the institute to undertake novel and leading-edge fundamental research. Most of the research within the institute is, and will always be, of this nature and can never attract commercial investment. The University and institute are mindful of the need to ensure that donated funds are applied only to the public good research components of the institute’s activities and cannot be applied (unless requested by the donor) to projects where commercial arrangements have been entered into. Specific procedures have been developed to ensure this, and potential donors are invited to contact the institute’s Development Manager for further information.