Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine gets $4 million to make 'smart nanoparticles'

The School of Medicine received $4 million in funding from the State of Ohio's Third Frontier Initiative for Targeted Nanoparticles for Imaging and Therapeutics (TNIP), which will support the development and commercialization of sub-atomic particles for the early detection of breast cancers and new therapies for hemophilia. Case Western Reserve University will work in collaboration with local companies Cleveland NanoCrystals, Copernicus Therapeutics, Inc., iMedd, Inc., and Ricera Biosciences, Inc. Principal investigator for TNIP is Pamela B. Davis, M.D., Ph.D., professor of pediatrics and senior associate dean for research at the School of Medicine.

Davis said the plan is to create smart nanoparticles that can accomplish several things:

  • Light up on imaging only at sites of disease,
  • Deliver photoactivated molecules to cancerous lesions so as to kill the tumors, not the healthy tissue around them,
  • Deliver payloads of corrective genes to treat genetic disorders, and payloads of inhibitory nucleic acids to suppress viral infections or cancers,
  • Deliver effective drugs that are otherwise too toxic or too insoluble to be used in humans.

    "There is a full plan to develop not only the science but also to bring the drugs to market so that people can have access to them and benefit," said Davis. "Diseases that are targeted are hemophilia, viral infections, and cancer."

    The grant was announced by Ohio's Lt. Gov. Bruce Johnson as part of a $75 million grant package handed out throughout the state. More than half the funding will go to Northeast Ohio.

    In addition to the nanoparticles grant, the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Case Western Reserve University and collaborating businesses received two grants for the creation of the Atrial Fibrillation Innovation Center. A Wright Center of Innovation (WCI) grant, worth $15 million, and a Biomedical Research and Technology Transfer Partnership Program (BRTT),

  • Contact: George Stamatis
    Case Western Reserve University

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