Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF)

Since its founding in 1925, WARF has served the University of Wisconsin-Madison scientific community by patenting the discoveries of UW-Madison researchers and licensing these technologies to leading companies in Wisconsin, the United States and worldwide. In this way, WARF also facilitates the use of UW-Madison research for the maximum benefit of society. WARF distributes the income from commercial licenses to the UW-Madison, the inventors and their departments. Each year, WARF contributes over $45 million to fund additional UW-Madison research. The university refers to WARF’s annual gifts as its “margin of excellence” funding.

Featured Startups and Technologies


TomoTherapy Inc. had an initial public offering in April 2007. TomoTherapy has developed the Hi-Art treatment system, which combines CT imaging and two flexible radiation delivery modes, TomoHelical and TomoDirect, for highly-precise cancer treatments that help limit radiation exposure to surrounding healthy tissue. The Hi-Art treatment system is the only device developed from the ground up for image-guided, intensity-modulated radiation therapy, and allows a consistent planning and treatment process to be applied to a wide range of cancer cases, with confidence in the results. The technology is used to serve cancer patients on more than 225 systems installed around the world.


NimbleGen Inc. was acquired by Roche in June 2007. Roche NimbleGen Inc. is a leading innovator, manufacturer and supplier of a proprietary suite of DNA microarrays, consumables, instruments and services.

Third Wave Technologies

Third Wave was acquired by Hologic in June 2008. Hologic holds the number one position in nine technology areas serving woman’s health, including breast cancer diagnosis and treatment, cervical cancer screening, prenatal testing and osteoporosis detection. Hologic believes that the health issues facing women today deserve and demand the singular dedication of a passionate company.


Cellular Dynamics International (CDI)

Cellular Dynamics International Inc. (CDI) is a leading developer of next-generation tools and services for drug discovery, screening and predictive toxicology. CDI combines the power of human pluripotent stem cells and cardiac toxicity for world class drug development including a GP facility for hERG testing for FDA submissions. CDI was founded in 2005 by Dr. Jamie Thomson, a pioneer in human embryonic stem cells from UW-Madison. CDI’s facilities are located in Madison, Wis.

Virent Energy Systems Inc

Virent Energy Systems is commercializing an advanced biofuel technology to power today’s vehicles in place of fossil fuels. Virent’s patented BioForming(TM) process converts plant sugars into conventional hydrocarbon fuels and products, including gasoline, diesel and jet fuel. The process delivers more net energy and offers a scalable, cost-effective alternative to traditional biofuel production routes. Headquartered in Madison, Wis., Virent has 75 employees in a state-of-the-art catalytic biorefining development facility. The technology is based on the Aqueous Phase Reforming process, which Virent has exclusively licensed from WARF.

Deltanoid Pharmaceuticals

Deltanoid Pharmaceuticals Inc. was founded in 1999 by Drs. Hector DeLuca and Margaret Clagett-Dame, two leading research scientists in biochemistry at UW-Madison, to ensure that promising technologies that have the potential to improve human health are developed for commercialization. Deltanoid Pharmaceuticals is a drug development company involved in breakthrough treatments for osteoporosis, renal disease, psoriasis and other disease targets. The company specializes in designing advanced vitamin D analogs, and several of its vitamin D-based therapies are already being tested in human clinical trials. Deltanoid will develop therapies through early stage human trials and will then seek partners to conduct later stage human trials and commercialize the products.


OpGen will enable routine genetic analysis of microbial genomes in discovery and diagnostic applications to provide enhanced customer value. The OpGen result will enable enhanced resolution to solve discovery problems and dramatically reduce time to result in the diagnostic field.

Contact Us

614 Walnut St
13th Floor
Madison, WI 53726

Phone: (608) 263-2821

E-mail: cohn@warf.org

Web: warf.org