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Transposagen Receives Grants for Colon Cancer Gene Research
Editor's note: Transposagen Biopharmaceuticals Inc. is located in UK's on-campus incubator ASTeCC.
LEXINGTON, KY (Feb. 2, 2010) — Transposagen Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. based in Lexington, KY, has announced that it is the recipient of over $412,000 in additional Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funding; $312,628 from the National Cancer Institute, a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and $100,000 in matching funds from the KY Cabinet for Economic Development's Department of Commercialization and Innovation (DCI). Transposagen's project will lay the scientific groundwork to create a rat model of human colorectal cancer. If the specific aims of this grant are achieved, Transposagen could receive additional research dollars from the NIH to discover potential drug targets for the treatment of colorectal cancer.
The NIH performs extensive external peer review using experts from academia and industry to assess the scientific merit, technical merit, and commercial application of the proposed technology. The following was stated in the NIH's Project Summary Statement, "Such a model would be relevant to basic cancer research, and the proposed technique could easily be translated to other malignancy types using different tissue-specific Cre expression, making it potentially a route that would lead to an expanded set of rat models of malignancy."
"We are appreciative of the NIH and DCI for their continued support as we move past 'proof of concept' and into creating specific disease models," said Dr. Eric Ostertag, CEO of Transposagen Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. "Existing mouse models for colorectal cancer do not accurately model this human disease. Transposagen's rat model should better mimic later stages of this cancer in humans and should more closely express the molecular, cellular, and pathologic characteristics of the disease. Developing this model is an important step for future cancer drug discovery."
"We are proud of the vital research and development being conducted by the Commonwealth's high-tech companies, such as Transposagen Biopharmaceuticals," said Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear. "The technologies being developed today hold the promise of helping our fellow Kentuckians and people worldwide in the treatment of cancer and other diseases."
Transposagen has received grant funding commitments for over $4.1 million since 2005. This includes previous SBIR awards from the NIH and DCI.
"The $100,000 matching award that the state made recently to Transposagen demonstrates the high degree of confidence that experts have in the value of the company's research," said DCI Commissioner Deborah Clayton. "Not only has the National Cancer Institute shown support with its federal award of over $300,000, but our panel of independent experts also recommended Transposagen for matching state funds from among a large number of applicants."
About Transposagen Biopharmaceuticals:
Transposagen Biopharmaceuticals Inc., a Lexington, Ky. based company, is the worldwide leader in the creation of unique genetically modified rat models. The company's signature product, TKO™ Knockout Rat Models, mimic human diseases and are used for drug discovery and development research. The production of animal models is a $1.2 billion/year market and is expected to grow 12% annually through 2012.