Earlier this year we reported on the work of Dr. Mauro Ferrari of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston on developing nanotech methods of drug delivery (see here and here). A startup company cofounded by Ferrari has now received a $3.5 million grant from the state of Texas to commercialize the nanotech delivery of a drug for cancer treatment. From the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, via AAAS EurekAlert “Texas invests record $3.5 million in startup cofounded by UT’s Mauro Ferrari“:
NanoMedical Systems Inc., (NMS), an Austin-based startup cofounded by Mauro Ferrari, Ph.D., of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHSC-Houston), to improve the effectiveness of anti-cancer agents and other medications, has received a record $3.5 million Commercialization Award through the Texas Emerging Technology Fund (ETF).
NMS was one of six companies that received the ETF awards, which were announced by Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Tuesday, Nov. 18.
The grant will help accelerate the completion of engineering and pre-clinical testing for a device, which will allow for a controlled dose of medicine to be released into the bloodstream over many weeks or months. The device will be a safer, more reliable and less costly alternative to a long series of injections or clinical visits.
“From the information I have, this is the largest commercialization award (to private companies in collaboration with a university for product development) awarded from the emerging technology fund to date. They’ve gone to $3 million twice and $2 million five times out of 48 commercialization awards,” said Wayne R. Roberts, associate vice president for public policy at the UT Health Science Center at Houston.
…Each small silicon chip through which the NMS device will deliver medication into the bloodstream has 100,000 nanochannels, each precisely dimensioned from engineered materials to a size near that of a drug molecule. The company is focusing on an anti-cancer drug that is used in long-term therapy for its first commercially viable product. Its research and development activities over the next year will include further design and testing of the device’s chip and capsule, animal studies, and applications with the federal Food and Drug Administration.