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Life Sciences Discovery Fund Announces Research and Development Grants to Commercialize Health-related Technologies

Posted on December 18, 2013 at 1:37pm

SEATTLE, Washington, December 16, 2013 — The Life Sciences Discovery Fund (LSDF) today announced $1.1 million in five Proof of Concept grants to Washington for-profit and non-profit organizations to foster the translation of health-related products from the laboratory into the commercial marketplace. (See Backgrounder Information.)

Two of the five new grants will advance rapid testing technologies that were invented within Washington-based companies. HeatFlow Technologies (principal investigator Warren Dinges) will validate the performance of a novel PCR system for diagnosing and managing human diseases, with an initial focus on HIV/AIDS. Photonic BioSystems, Inc. (principal investigator David Putnam) will construct and test a portable device for detecting water contamination by disease-causing microorganisms.

The remaining three awards will promote the transition of promising technologies and concepts out of university settings and into the for-profit sector for commercialization. Amit Bandyopadhyay of Washington State University will test novel joint implant materials that may be safer and more durable than current products. Vincenzo Cirulli of the University of Washington will optimize an assay to screen stem cell therapies for tumor-forming potential in advance of human testing. Joseph Harding of Washington State University will study a new treatment for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease) in a preclinical model.

“We continue to see strong interest in the Proof of Concept granting program throughout Washington’s life sciences community. Our latest awards are indicative of the high quality of applications we receive each cycle, and we believe that each grantee has strong potential to help make Washingtonians healthier and safer,” stated John DesRosier, LSDF executive director.

The LSDF Board of Trustees made the final award selections following review of proposals for scientific and technical merit, commercial potential, and possible health and economic benefits in Washington.

LSDF is still accepting Proof of Concept grant applications; $3 million has been allocated for award through August 2014, with January 3, 2014, as the next closing date for pre-proposal applications. For more details, please visit the LSDF website at http://www.lsdfa.org/, email programs@lsdfa.org, or call 206-456-9577.

Funding for the new awards comes from Washington’s allocation of payments under the Master Tobacco Settlement Agreement of 1998, revenues arising from multi-state litigation with tobacco product manufacturers.

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The Life Sciences Discovery Fund, a Washington state agency established in May 2005, makes grant investments in innovative life sciences research and development to benefit Washington and its citizens.

For information on LSDF and recent awards, see http://www.lsdfa.org/.

 

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