OTC News Archive
The University of Texas licenses drug delivery technology to newly formed Mimetic Solutions, LLC
Wednesday, March 7, 2007
The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) announced today that it has licensed a drug delivery technology developed by the UT Austin team of Nicholas Peppas, Sc.D., Mark Byrne, Ph.D., and Zach Hilt, Ph.D., to Mimetic Solutions, LLC, an Emergent Technologies Fund IV portfolio company. Dr. Peppas will serve as Co-Chief Scientist of Mimetic Solutions, along with Dr. Hilt, now on faculty at the University of Kentucky. Mimetic Solutions will be managed by Emergent Technologies, Inc. (ETI), with Dr. Brian Windsor serving as Managing Director.
A pioneer in the field of drug delivery and smart-release systems, Dr. Nicholas Peppas has more than 30 years of research experience and has published more than 1,000 peer-reviewed articles and 30 books. He has made life-changing contributions to drug delivery and biomaterials applications using his recognized expertise in biomedical engineering and polymer chemistry. Peppas, a member of both the National Academy of Engineering and the French Academy of Pharmacy, has received numerous awards for his multidisciplinary research. In addition to serving as Chief Scientist of Mimetic Solutions, Peppas will remain as the Fletcher Stuckey Pratt Chair in Engineering in the Departments of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering and Professor in the College of Pharmacy at The University of Texas at Austin.
“I have explored many academic areas of drug delivery and smart release chemistry, and am excited to apply this strong scientific foundation to some very important commercial applications,” notes Dr. Peppas.
“Emergent Technologies was planning a strategic initiative into the $100 billion drug delivery market, and we are excited to have joined with the leading scientist in this field, Dr. Peppas,” comments Thomas Harlan, President and CEO of ETI. ETI is a venture capital firm focused on early technology deals from universities with the goal of partnering with industry leaders to commercialize the technology.
Mimetic Solutions’ core technology, Affinimer™ Chemistry, allows for the creation of chemically engineered smart polymers that can bind specific “trigger” molecules such as a key biomarker in a patient’s blood and subsequently release a drug or other agent under pre-programmed conditions. Managing Director Brian Windsor commented, “Using our proprietary Affinimer™ chemistry we are currently pursuing two major applications: the TheraSmart™ System – smart release of therapeutic agents; and the BeautySmart™ System – smart cosmetic or cosmeceutical delivery.” A planned first application is a smart-release of insulin in response to blood glucose levels in diabetic patients.
ETI anticipates that the technology licensing deal from the University of Texas at Austin is likely to be one of many to come. In a recent report from the Milken Institute, The University of Texas System was ranked first globally in the number of biotechnology patents filed.
“What we do over the next decade in the biotechnology field is crucial,” said Neil Iscoe, director of the Office of Technology Commercialization at Austin. “Universities must work closely with entrepreneurs, investors, and established industry to move nascent scientific discoveries into products that will bring significant value to society, addressing issues of health, productivity, and quality of life.”
About Mimetic Solutions, LLC
Mimetic Solutions, LLC is a biopharmaceutical company pioneering new frontiers in drug and bioactive agent delivery. Beyond merely providing mechanisms for slower release or better compatibility, Mimetic Solutions is developing true smart release systems that sense the surrounding environment and deliver the right chemical or drug, at the right time and at the right dose. Using proprietary Affinimer™ chemistry, Mimetic Solutions creates biomimetic polymer networks that are engineered to release a payload chemical or drug under pre-defined conditions, such as upon binding of a specific biomarker or analyte. Mimetic Solutions seeks collaborative partnerships for development of many different commercial applications. To learn more about Mimetic Solutions, visit www.mimeticsolutions.com.
About Emergent Technologies Fund IV, L.P.*
Emergent Technologies Fund IV, L.P., (Fund IV) has been established to invest in early-stage companies formed to commercialize technologies created, developed, owned, and/or synergistic with The University of Texas System. The UT System consists of nine academic and health institutions and, in fiscal year 2007, spent in excess of $1.8 billion in research endeavors. This resulted in 117 U.S. patents and 655 invention disclosures last year alone.
About Emergent Technologies, Inc.
Emergent Technologies Inc. (ETI), founded in 1989 by Thomas A. Harlan, is a unique life sciences venture firm that forms and manages companies and funds that commercialize groundbreaking institutional and university-based technologies. ETI is a turnkey solution for converting university science into high return ventures. ETI works with regional economic development groups and universities to capitalize on the technology assets unique to their region. For more information, visit the company website: www.etibio.com.
*Fund IV is not an affiliate of, nor has it been endorsed by, The University of Texas System.