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Home › News & Events › Vindico receives grants to develop artificial blood substitutes based on nanotechnology
Vindico receives grants to develop artificial blood substitutes based on nanotechnology
Editor's note: Vindico NanoBioTechnology, Inc., located in the ASTeCC campus incubator, is dedicated to the development and commercialization of polymersomes, a highly innovative nanoparticle-based platform, for a wide-range of biomedical diagnostic and drug delivery applications.
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 28, 2010) —Vindico NanoBioTechnology, Inc., (Vindico) based in Lexington, KY, announced that it is the recipient of nearly $300,000 in grant funding: a $199,683 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) administered through the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and $100,000 in matching funds from the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development's Department of Commercialization and Innovation (DCI). Vindico's project proposes to use polymersomes, its proprietary technology platform, to create nanoparticles that incorporate and deliver hemoglobin in a manner similar to natural blood cells. If the specific aims of this grant are achieved, Vindico could receive additional research dollars from the NIH to develop its product called NanoHeme™. Advantages of NanoHeme™, compared to donor red blood cell units, include its potential to be generated in nearly unlimited supply, its cheaper and longer storage capabilities, its lack of a necessity for patient matching, and its inherent sterility that eliminates any possibilities for infectious disease transmission.
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 Project Summary Statement, "If successful, this work could have a major impact on the global need for transfused blood. There is a well-reasoned approach that will produce artificial blood substitutes with potential advantages over human blood transfusions."
"We are very excited to receive funding support through the NIH from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act as well as from the DCI," said Dr. P. Peter Ghoroghchian, Chief Scientific Officer of Vindico. "The development of an artificial blood substitute has been one of the holy grails in the biotechnology industry. Vindico's proposed product should overcome all limitations associated with natural red blood cell transfusions, previous attempts to generate synthetic oxygen therapeutics, as well as with blood substitutes that are currently under development. If successful, NanoHeme™ will improve the standards of patient care and offer tremendous cost savings to the health care system."
"This is exactly the type of high-quality research and development for which we created the SBIR-STTR Matching Funds Program," said DCI Commissioner Deborah Clayton. "Vindico's blood substitute product has the potential to capture a wide market, which would help the company grow rapidly and create high-tech jobs here in Kentucky." The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Matching Funds Program implemented by Kentucky in 2006 is the nation's most comprehensive program of its type. The Commonwealth matches up to $150,000 of federal Phase 1 awards and up to $500,000 per year for federal Phase 2 awards.
Vindico has received funding commitments of over $1.5 million since 2009. This includes a previous award from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Vindico NanoBioTechnology, Inc., is a privately-held company based in Lexington, Kentucky. The company's polymersome technology was originally invented through collaborations between researchers in the laboratories of Professors Daniel Hammer (University of Pennsylvania), Michael Therien (Duke University), and Frank Bates (University of Minnesota). Vindico is currently developing polymersomes for a variety of diagnostic and therapeutic applications. For more information visit www.vindicopharma.com.
About the NIH:
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) – The Nation's Medical Research Agency – includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.
The project, titled "Fully Biodegradable Polymersome-encapsulated Hemoglobin as a Novel Nanoparticle-based Oxygen Carrier," was supported by Award Number R43-HL10338801 from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute or the National Institutes of Health.
About KY Cabinet for Economic Development:
The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development is the primary state agency in Kentucky responsible for creating new jobs and new investment in the state. New business investment in Kentucky in 2009 totaled nearly $977 million with the creation of more than 6,900 new jobs. Information on available development sites, workforce training, incentive programs, community profiles, small business development and other resources is available at www.ThinkKentucky.com.