Editor’s note: BioWatch is a regular feature on Fridays.Spore LLC, a Raleigh firm launched this year, sells consulting services and software to help biotech companies analyze and understand their own and their competitors’ patent data.

The company, which has five employees and more than 20 clients, including Triangle-based Nobex and Ercole, plans an aggressive launch in the first quarter next year, says JiNan Glasgow, its president and chief executive officer.

Glasgow and Guy R. Bretich Jr. founded and bootstrap-financed the company with their own money and sales, Glasgow says. “We have potential seed-funding from private investors interested in helping us accelerate marketing,” she adds.

The company expects to pick up clients in both Canada, Italy and France in the next few months, she says. Glasgow says the company has large, 4,000 square foot offices in Raleigh. “We’re poised for growth,” she says.

The company aims its software and consulting services at start-ups in biotech and pharmaceuticals. The software helps patent managers or attorney’s conduct comprehensive patent searches and provides trademarked patent matrix diagrams for deep analysis of patent claims.

The software also helps patent mangers communicate with top management, giving them a visual way to point out portfolio gaps and opportunities, the competitive IP landscape, potential license targets or partners, and evolutionary trends in technology, Glasgow says.

Glasgow notes that some venture capitalists use it to screen companies looking for funding prior to due diligence before they “take it to patent attorneys and spend $15,000 or $20,000.

Glasgow, a patent attorney and former patent office examiner, says the patent-mapping software itself is based on the biological concept of cladistics, in which plants and animals are placed in certain groups due to shared characteristics.

Wallace in India; revival for Cogent?

Max Wallace, former CEO of Cogent Neuroscience, a founder of Trimeris, and currently president of the recently formed The Arbor Group, is in India today to speak at the opening of a biotech park.

Wallace and Mark Crowell, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill associate vice chancellor of economic development, are featured speakers at the inaugural ceremony of the International Biotech Park in Pune on the occasion of “Maharashtra Biotech Day.” Maharashtra is the state in India where Pune is located.

“With all the jobs going from the United States to India, we need to manage that pathway better and try to get some action coming the other way,” Wallace says. “By going over there, maybe in the future someone there is going to say, ‘hey, I know someone in RTP, let’s call.'”

Also, Wallace says his former Cogent partner, Don Ho, a Duke University researcher, is meeting with people in New Orleans in an attempt to get non-profit backing to revive the Cogent technology, which sought genes that protect the brain from stroke and other harm via an innovative discovery method.

“We’re close,” Wallace, who has suggested non-profit funding may be a way for some start-ups to get funding, says. “One person just has to nod his head,” he says.

Wallace says that if it comes through, it might make a natural match for his new Arbor Group firm, which, among other things, provides “just in time management.”

MBL Opening Investment Arm

MBL International Corp., a Japanese-based company with an RTP office, is opening an office in Palo Alto, CA, to look for additional U.S. investments. MBL has invested in Ribonomics, an RTP biotech.

Shinobu Kitamura, MBL vice president business development at the Triangle office, tells Local Tech Wire the new office will look for investments throughout the U.S., including among North Carolina start-ups.

Spore: www.patentmatrix.com

MBN International: www.mbintl.com