Experimental Drug Boosts HIV Therapy’s Effectiveness

An experimental compound boosts the effectiveness of HIV drugs so they may only have to be taken once or twice a year. The developers say the drug, which is not a cure, could make compliance with HIV treatment easier.

The virus that causes AIDS has a number of ways to survive in human cells despite treatment.

One mechanism involves disarming a biological process known as autophagy. Under normal circumstances, autophagy allows cells to sweep away debris, including viruses; but, by suppressing this function, HIV is able to keep on infecting white blood cells, eventually leading to a breakdown of the protective immune system.


Adarza BioSystems Closes on $17 Million Series C Financing

Adarza BioSystems, Inc., a leading next generation innovator in label-free, multiplex assays, announced today that it has closed a $17M Series C financing.

Proceeds from the financing will be used to further expand production capacity in its St. Peters, Mo. manufacturing facility and fund final development and commercialization of Adarza’s first immunoassay product consumable and instrument platform.

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Kevin Parker Featured in “Sound Waves”

The lead story in the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine’s November 2nd newsletter features the work of Kevin Parker, the William F May Professor of Engineering at the University of Rochester. Dr. Parker has applied 19th-Century mathematical functions to modern ultrasound to create color images that make soft-tissue ultrasounds much more defined, and therefore, useful. See a brief video here.

FDA Gives Fast Track Status to Vaccinex Drug

Rochester Business Journal
August 8, 2016

The Food and Drug Administration has given Vaccinex Inc.’s VX15 Huntington’s disease drug fast track status.

Huntington’s disease is a relatively rare affliction, affecting an estimated one in 10,000 individuals. Still, for sufferers and their families it amounts to a drawn out and increasingly unpleasant death sentence.

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National Academy of Inventors Names Top Patent Recipients for 2015

Once again, the University of Rochester has been ranked in the top 100 universities worldwide for the number of issued patents. In 2015, Rochester placed 41st in the world, with 48 issued U.S. patents. Duke University also had 48 patents and shares the 41st position with Rochester. This ranking is an increase from 2014 when Rochester placed 48th. See http://bit.ly/29vl4w5 for the complete list.

Taithera, Inc. and the University of Rochester Announce Deal to Commercialize Bone-Targeted Therapeutic Agent

16 May 2016

New York, NY & Rochester, NY

Taithera, Inc., a New York City based biotech company, and UR Ventures, the technology commercialization office of the University of Rochester, today announced plans to commercialize a bone-targeted therapeutic agent. This precision medicine technology, invented at the University of Rochester’s Center for Musculoskeletal Research, uses a peptide-based approach to deliver drugs directly to the bone for the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of musculoskeletal diseases and disorders, including osteoporosis, bone cancer, bone fracture, bone allograft rejection, bone autograft rejection, and Paget’s disease.

J. Edward Puzas, Ph.D., the Donald and Mary Clark Professor of Orthopaedics, and Danielle Benoit, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Chemical Engineering, co-led the development of this technology.

Taithera’s co-founder and Chief Science Officer, Mo Chen, Ph.D. received his doctorate at the University of Rochester and conducted research at the Center for Musculoskeletal Research.

Rochester has been conducting extensive research on this bone-targeting therapeutic agent for more than six years, and animal models show that this bone-targeting technology has high affinity for tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase, an enzyme left by osteoclasts – the cells responsible for bone resorption. This means that drugs can be conjugates, or paired with, this targeting technology to deliver those drugs directly to the bone. This will significantly improve bone biodistribution.

When asked about this collaboration, Dr. Puzas said, “I worked with Dr. Chen for many years while he was a Ph.D. student at the Center for Musculoskeletal Research. As co-lead inventor on the bone-targeted drug delivery system, I couldn’t be happier to once again work closely with Dr. Chen on bringing this groundbreaking technology to market. There are very few scientists with the ability to bridge the divide between the lab and the marketplace. Dr. Chen is one of the few.”

Dr. Benoit added, “I have spent more than a decade developing polymeric delivery systems for biotherapeutics. For the past six years, my research has focused on developing novel targeting systems for bone-specific delivery of therapeutics. The results we have seen from this research show signs of something really quite revolutionary. I am thrilled that the University of Rochester and Taithera are working together to commercialize this technology. I look forward to working closely with Taithera.”

Dr. Chen agrees. “There are few times in a scientist’s career when you see a new technology that stands a strong chance to significantly improve millions of lives,” he said. “The quality of the research and data at the University of Rochester is second to none. It is an honor to once again work with the Center for Musculoskeletal Research at the University of Rochester.”


University of Rochester:
Matan Rapoport, Ph.D., MBA

Licensing Manager, UR Ventures

Taithera, Inc.:
Seth Harlem


HCO Named Overall Winner of the 2015-16 Wearables Innovation World Cup

MunichHealth Care Originals won the Health & Wellness category of the Wearables Technologies Innovation World Cup for their Automated Device for Asthma Monitoring and Management (ADAMM) technology. They then went on to beat five other category winners to be named Overall Innovator of 2015/2016. ADAMM was developed at the University of Rochester from a collaboration between Hyekyun Rhee, Ph.D., an associate professor in the School of Nursing, and Mark Bocko, Ph.D., a professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, as a means to monitor asthma symptoms in order to predict the onset of an asthma event. Health Care Originals has licensed the technology from the University and has been developing different wearable device configurations to get this innovative technology to the public.


Experimental Combination Surprises with Anti-HIV Effectiveness

A compound developed to protect the nervous system from HIV surprised researchers by augmenting the effectiveness of an investigational antiretroviral drug beyond anything expected. The potency of the combination treatment, tested so far in mice, suggests that it would be possible to rid the body of HIV for months, reducing the frequency with which patients must take these medications from daily to several times a year.

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Telephus Medical Announces Issuance of Japanese Patent for Anti-MRSA Antibodies

Telephus Medical LLC (Telephus), a biotechnology company focused on development of antibody therapies for antibiotic-resistant staphylococcal infections, today announced that the Japan Patent Office has issued Japanese patent number 5,837,215 covering monoclonal antibody compositions that bind and neutralize the endo-β-Nacetylglucosaminidase (Gmd) subunit of staphylococcal bifunctional autolysin and methods to use those antibodies for the treatment and prevention of severe, life-threatening staph infections, including those caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

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Rochester Researcher Collaborates to Create Temporary Skin Substitute Resistant to Scarring

Richard Phipps, Ph.D., Professor of Environmental Medicine, is collaborating with Aubrey Woodroof, Ph.D. (founder of PermeaDerm, Inc., and inventor of the first bilaminate, biosynthetic, temporary wound dressing, Biobrane®), and BioDot, Inc. (a leader in the field of dispensing low volumes of fluids and powders) to develop a smart, temporary, and anti-scarring wound dressing.

Read the press release from PermeaDerm here.