Technology Development Fund awards $1M to 12 Children’s technologies in 2011
Children’s Technology Development Fund catalyzes the development of Hospital technologies toward commercialization
Children’s Hospital Boston is proud to announce that it has awarded a total of $1M across 12 projects through the Technology & Innovation Development Office’s (TIDO) Technology Development Fund (TDF), now in its third year. This past year’s funding cycle was marked by a 27% increase in the number of applications, as well as increased diversity in the types of technologies proposed. The 2011 projects selected for funding are listed below.
Investigators will be paired with members of the TDF advisory board, who will work with Monique Yoakim-Turk, PhD, partner, TDF and associate director of TIDO, and Meridith Unger, MBA, principal, TDF, to guide each project. TIDO selects, negotiates and executes the appropriate agreements with Contract Research Organizations (CROs) before the initiation of each project.
“The interest in this year’s TDF cycle has been amazing,” said Monique Yoakim-Turk. “We received 52 letters of intent and noticed a significantly greater emphasis on Healthcare IT technologies. Each application was impressive and it was a challenge to narrow the pool to 12 projects for funding. TDF continues to support these technologies by expanding teams to include industry experts who can provide niche technical and product development expertise to move each technology to a stage where it’s ready for licensing or starting a new company.”
In addition to selecting and designing the 2011 projects, the TDF managed an existing portfolio of 17 projects at various stages of development. The subsequent success of these projects, which were awarded funding in 2009 and 2010, is impressive. An initial investment of $1.3M over the two years attracted approximately $5.1M of follow-on funding from government, foundation and philanthropic grants. Data generated with the 2009-2010 funding resulted in four publications, 10 manuscripts, nine new patent applications, and TDF’s first licensed technology is slated for market launch in 2012.
2011 projects selected for funding:
- Prominin-1: Topical Treatment for Chronic Wounds
Avner Adini, PhD and Robert D’Amato, MD, PhD, Vascular Biology Program
A short peptide, derived from Prominin-1, dramatically improves vessel formation by potentiating endogenous VEGF binding to its receptor. Drs. Adini and D’Amato showed an acceleration of diabetic wound healing over the control in mouse models. The 2011 Technology Development grant will fund formulation and pharmacokinetic work.
- Lodamin: Oral Anti-Angiogenic Therapeutic
Ofra Benny-Ratsaby, PhD and Robert D’Amato, MD, PhD, Vascular Biology Program
Lodamin is a polymer-conjugated TNP-470 – one of the most potent anti-angiogenic agents ever discovered – rationally designed by Drs. Benny-Ratsaby and M. Judah Folkman to overcome the obstacles that prohibited the success of TNP-470: poor pharmacokinetics and reversible neurotoxicity. Lodamin is orally available and demonstrated broad spectrum anti-angiogenic activity in a range of in vitro assays and murine primary cancer models. Compared to anti-VEGF, Lodamin was able to repress lesions in a mouse model of AMD. Also awarded a TDF grant in 2009 to devise a reproducible and scalable synthesis protocol, the 2011 grant will support pharmacokinetic work to support an IND package.
- ABCB5: mAb Therapy for Metastatic Melanoma
Markus Frank, MD, Department of Nephrology
ABCB5 is expressed selectively on cancer stem cells that are resistant to conventional forms of therapy, but are critical drivers of tumor initiation and metastatic disease progression. Dr. Frank has shown that targeted killing of cancer stem cells in melanoma through ABCB5 monoclonal antibody (mAb)-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) significantly inhibits human xenograft tumor growth in immunodeficient mice established either with patient tumor cells or established melanoma cell lines. The 2011 TDF grant will be used to generate a panel of fully human ABCB5 antibodies.
- Neosaxitoxin: Prolonged-Duration Local Analgesic
Charles Berde, MD, PhD, Department of Anesthesiology
Neosaxitoxin (NeoSTX) is a member of the chemical family of site 1 sodium channel toxins which was shown by Dr. Berde and colleagues in both preclinical and clinical studies to be active for up to twice as long as current analgesics. NeoSTX also shows a lack of neurotoxicity and cardiotoxicity and other side effects of traditional anesthetics and analgesics. Also the recipient of a 2010 TDF grant, the 2011 grant will fund remaining preclinical studies (as recommended by FDA at a pre-IND meeting in November 2010).
- Cardioport for Trans-Apical Cardiac Interventions
Pedro del Nido, MD and Nikolay Vasilyev, MD, Department of Cardiac Surgery
Dr. del Nido and his team have designed a cardiac port with an air purging system and a one-way valve that prevents air emboli and minimizes blood loss during trans-cardiac interventions. The port has the added functionality of an optical window that allows continuous visualization inside the beating heart. The TDF grant will support functional prototype optimization of the visualization system as well as reducing the diameter of the cardioport.
Heart Valve Leaflet Utilizing a Novel Fiber Arrangement
Peter Hammer, PhD, Department of Cardiac Surgery
Dr. Hammer has created a novel heart valve leaflet using polymer and reinforcement fibers that promises to achieve the durability of mechanical valves without their risk of thrombogenicity. Dr. Hammer’s valve mitigates this risk through the fiber pattern’s unique control of valve function and stress distribution. The 2011 TDF grant will fund design, manufacturing and testing of a series of valve prototypes.
Intravenous Oxygen Delivery via Microbubble Technology
John Kheir, MD, Department of Cardiology
Dr. Kheir has shown that intravenous delivery of oxygen via microbubbles can nearly instantly increase plasma oxygen concentration to rapidly reverse acute hypoxia. Notably, one study maintained near-normal levels of oxygen in a rabbit during a 15 minute period of asphyxia. The microbubble technology has been shown to have several clinical advantages over CPR, intubation, and mechanical ventilation with respect to survival and tissue damage. Also the recipient of 2009 and 2010 TDF grants, this year’s grant will fund formulation and stability work on the microbubbles.
Diagnostic for Kawasaki Disease
Susan Kim, MD, Department of Rheumatology
Kawasaki Disease (KD) is a pediatric autoimmune disease which causes inflammation of blood vessels and which, if left untreated, can lead to coronary artery aneurysms in up to 25% of affected children. There is currently no diagnostic test for KD, however Dr. Kim has identified several novel protein markers in the urine of KD patients, two of which have been validated. The 2011 TDF grant will be used to further assess the specificity and predictive utility of these proteins in diagnosing KD.
Cystatin B: Novel Prognostic Biomarker for Bladder Cancer
Bruce Zetter, PhD, Vascular Biology Program
Urinary biomarker cystatin B was discovered by Dr. Zetter and his team in collaboration with MGH, to be a powerful, non-invasive, predictive marker of transitional cell carcinoma in the bladder. Specifically, Dr. Zetter showed a high, positive and significant correlation between cystatin B levels and tumor grade, progression and shorter time to recurrence. The 2011 TDF grant will support validation of cystatin B in a larger patient cohort using a quantitative assay.
eDMC: Web-Based Disease Management System
Eric Fleegler, MD, MPH, Division of Emergency Medicine and Eugenia Chan, MD, MPH, Division of Developmental Medicine
eDMC is a multi-modal patient management system for children with ADHD. eDMC systematically monitors patient symptoms, functioning and learning, medication use and side effects as well as family and patient quality of life. The central gathering of this data will allow practitioners treating ADHD access to a robust set of clinical data to significantly increase efficacy and efficiency of ADHD care. The 2011 TDF grant will fund expansion of the proof of concept software to enhance accessibility and user experience.
MedWatcher: Crowdsourcing for Drug Safety Surveillance
John Brownstein, PhD, Children’s Hospital Informatics Program
Nearly half of all Americans currently take a prescription drug, yet the public remains largely unaware of medication safety concerns. Dr. Brownstein and colleagues are developing MedWatcher to engage users (both the public and healthcare practitioners) in issues of drug safety, providing up-to-date safety advisories and a reporting tool for direct submission of adverse drug events by the user. The 2011 TDF grant will fund development of the user interface and back-end data interoperability.
Glyco-Trap: Novel Glycoprotein Capture and Analysis Device
Richard Lee, MD and Hui Zhou, PhD, Department of Urology
Glyco-Trap, developed by Dr. Lee and colleagues, is a novel device technology that has the capability to sequentially release, capture and purify both glycans and protein fractions of a sample to facilitate subsequent structural characterizations of both fractions – a critical tool for quality control analysis of biopharmaceutical product production, amongst other research and development applications. The 2011 TDF grant will fund development and optimization of a Glyco-Trap device prototype to evaluate commercial potential.