Sunday, March 16, 2008

Funding for Medical Technologies

The North Carolina Biotechnology Center (NCBIO) awarded a $100,000 Phase 1 planning grant to the Center of Innovation (COI) in Advanced Medical Technologies. Universities and regional economic development entities across the state submitted the grant application late last year to focus on growing North Carolina’s advanced medical technologies sector.

If the plan is approved this year, the Center will receive a four year $2.5 million Phase 2 grant to support the commercialization of new products and help companies expand in developing advanced medical technologies. The grant requires that COI be self supporting within five years.

“NCBIO believes that the CIO will help North Carolina leverage strengths in biotechnology, nanotechnology, information technology, and regenerative medicine and will become a leader in the advanced medical technologies industry,” said NCBIO president Sam Taylor.

In another funding initiative, the National Institute of General Medical Science within NIH has awarded Affinergy, a Duke University spinout, a Phase 2 SBIR grant for $2 million. Previously the company has been awarded multiple SBIR grants with the four grant awards awarded for Phase 1 programs exceeding $1 million.

The company develops coatings and medical devices for the orthopedic and cardiovascular markets. Examples of how the technology can be used would be to:

· Optimize the release of a protein growth factor from a device
· Attach drugs to a device at the point-of-care
· Deliver and attach adult stem cells to a specific device or tissue

“We are excited to initiate the Phase 2 activities and accelerate the pathway to commercialization”, said Shrikumar Nair, PhD., Affinergy’s Section Head for Discovery Chemistry and is the Principal Investigator for the Phase 2 program. “We have achieved great momentum and are excited by the potential to improve the clinical performance of a number of different products. This program could provide a significant clinical benefit for a large number of patients.”