This is an exciting research opportunity that leverages the abilities of both institutions to develop innovative treatments for debilitating, non-healing fractures.
Claremont, CA (PRWEB) September 30, 2010
Biotechnology firm Synedgen (U.S.) and the University of New South Wales (UNSW, Australia) will investigate therapies to improve bone growth and wound healing as part of a new project sponsored by the Australian Research Council’s (ARC) Linkage Project Grants program.
The three-year $540,000AUS project, titled “Targeted growth factor delivery using natural polysaccharide materials for bone regeneration,” will be funded by Synedgen, UNSW and the ARC.
Of the six million bones broken each year in the U.S., approximately 300,000 are slow to heal or do not heal at all with traditional methods. Osteoporosis, a bone disease that increases the risk of fracture, is a major public health threat for an estimated 44 million Americans.
The academic research is led by John Whitelock, professor in the Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering at UNSW. He is one of the world’s experts in deciphering the structures of the sugars on mammalian cell surfaces and tissues known as heparan sulfates that direct bone growth and tissue regeneration.
Synedgen’s focus is on designing and synthesizing new polysaccharide molecules to combat infection and to improve wound healing. It has a number of products in development for use in the home, in hospitals and health care facilities and in the battlefield. Synedgen will provide scientific expertise in the synthesis of new molecules and product development guidance over the course of the project.
The bone regeneration project is designed to engineer biomimetic-inspired polysaccharide (sugar) molecules for the targeted delivery of growth factors to encourage bone regeneration in age-related diseases associated with bone fracture and joint destruction. Over the course of this effort, the team will investigate the body’s molecules that stimulate bone regeneration, synthesize new molecules directed to mimic those molecules, and investigate how the new molecules interact with cells to generate new bone.
“This is an exciting research opportunity that leverages the abilities of both institutions to develop innovative treatments for debilitating, non-healing fractures. We are pleased by the opportunity to expand our research focus, work with this intellectually powerful partner and help advance the field of bone regeneration," said Synedgen President Shenda Baker. She will serve as the principal investigator for the project for Synedgen, which is the biotech industry partner.
Whitelock stated, “We are very enthusiastic about Synedgen’s participation in this effort. The Synedgen team brings expertise in inventing and designing new molecules based on natural sugars and developing products for treating humans, which will help provide focus for commercial outcomes in the area of new materials for bone regeneration.”
Synedgen Inc. is an innovative biopharmaceutical company focused on developing novel therapies and products through its proprietary biomaterials technology platform. This platform technology provides the foundation for a broad base of novel antimicrobials to reduce or eliminate bacterial pathogens. Research is focused to specifically address the unmet need for therapies that treat and prevent bacterial infections, primarily from those that have developed resistance to traditional antibiotics. Synedgen’s corporate headquarters and research laboratory are in Claremont, Calif.; Synedgen’s manufacturing facility is in Honolulu, Hawaii.
The University of New South Wales is one of Australia’s leading universities and is highly regarded for its research and development of novel biomaterials based on the natural polysaccharide structures.
The Australian Research Council is an agency of Australian government that administers research grants for fundamental and applied research. The ARC’s Linkage Project Grants support collaborative research and development projects between higher education researchers and external industrial partner organizations.