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UCLA Magazine Fall 2003
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Fall 2003
Idea factory
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Parhami connected with Abe after approaching OIPA with the intent of pursuing a patent for his oxysterol discovery. “What we discovered was that these oxysterols could stimulate the formation and activity of bone-forming cells, and we realized that is something that’s going to be very important,” Parhami says. It also is something unlike any other form of therapeutic treatment for osteoporosis on the market — a fact that became increasingly clear as Parhami worked with OIPA and talked with colleagues.

Parhami is eager to accelerate his research, while staying committed to remaining at UCLA as an academic, even while facing great limitations and difficulties in finding sufficient university-based funding and resources. To overcome these difficulties, Parhami has decided he wants to start his own company: Osteoscience. To this end, he has found allies in Abe and OIPA technology-transfer officer Rebecca Goodman, whose background includes a degree in biology and a law degree with specialization in intellectual-property law. With their guidance and encouragement, Parhami also connected with M.B.A. student Matt Abbott and Assistant Adjunct Professor Robert Foster M.B.A. ’65 at The Anderson School, who helped him develop a professional business plan — a plan that Abe and Goodman helped him to further flesh out.

Abe also teaches a class in entrepreneurship at The Anderson School to a mix of business, engineering and medical students. “I look to see if they’ve got this look in their eyes that tells me they are really an entrepreneur,” Abe says.

Parhami has that look, Abe says. Says Parhami, “My entrepreneurial spirit has grown because of the discoveries we have made and the exposure I have to the business aspects.”

Goodman has had extensive meetings with Parhami. “I toss out questions, help him think through what his motivations are for a start-up company,” she says. “The more people that an entrepreneur or an inventor can talk with to clarify their ideas, the better prepared and more confident they are when it may really matter — when they’re doing a pitch in front of potential investors.”

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