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