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MIPS Announces 14 Research Projects Worth $2.4 Million

MIPS Announces 14 Research Projects Worth $2.4 Million


A new test for oral cancer, a treatment for esophageal cancer, a drug to stop rheumatoid arthritis, and new tools for digital forensics highlight 14 projects approved for funding by the Maryland Industrial Partnerships program, an initiative of the A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland bringing university innovation to the commercial sector by supporting research that helps Maryland companies develop products.

The projects, worth $2.4 million, include $1.5 million from participating companies, as well as $900,000 million from MIPS. All of the funding goes to faculty for the university research.

Participating universities include the University of Maryland, College Park, University of Maryland, Baltimore, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute.

Projects approved, with companies listed first, then participating institutions, include:

  • 20/20 GeneSystems Inc. (Rockville)/University of Maryland, College Park: optimizing a process for a new autoimmune disease and cancer diagnostic. The diagnostic utilizes a stack of peptide-coated membranes, each capable of capturing a specific antibody.

  • Advanced Digital Forensic Solutions Inc. (Silver Spring)/University of Maryland, College Park: improve the company’s image and video recognition and analysis technology, for use by both law enforcement and intelligence agents to find suspect data.

  • A&G Pharmaceutical Inc. (Columbia)/University of Maryland, Baltimore:pre-clinical study of small-molecule drug candidates to inhibit rheumatoid arthritis progression, a disease affecting 2.1 million Americans.

  • Alba Therapeutics Corporation (Baltimore)/University of Maryland, Baltimore: cloning and characterizing the human receptor for zonulin, a protein regulating the permeability of the intestine. Findings from the project’s first phase are being used to develop drug candidates for Celiac Disease and new onset Type 1 Diabetes.

  • Automated Precision Inc. (Rockville)/University of Maryland, College Park: developing algorithms and prototype software to perform 3D inspection of automobile and aerospace parts.

  • BioFactura Inc. (Rockville)/University of Maryland, College Park: evaluating systems to commercially produce the MUC7 peptide, a potential therapeutic for fungal diseases ranging from oral thrush to life-threatening systemic infections.

  • CryMed Technologies Inc. (Baltimore)/University of Maryland, Baltimore County: clinical trial of a cryo-ablation device and method for freezing and killing cancerous and pre-cancerous cells in the esophagus.

  • Imagilin Technology LLC (Frederick)/University of Maryland, College Park: developing a novel microencapsulation system to preserve the bioactivity of probiotics for animal feed and pet foods. The use of probiotics could reduce the amount of antibiotics fed to animals, as well as help prevent infectious diseases such as salmonella.

  • Mobitrum Corporation (Silver Spring)/University of Maryland, College Park: designing high-speed, ultra-wideband wireless communications systems for smart devices to transmit data to and from consumer electronics, PC peripherals, and other devices, with speeds of 55 to 480 megabytes per second.

  • NeoDiagnostix Inc. (Rockville)/University of Maryland, College Park: retrospective study to validate a highly sensitive and precise, gene-based test for oral cancer.

  • Next Breath LLC (Baltimore)/University of Maryland, Baltimore: pre-clinical study of a new inhaler technology that could increase the percentage of a drug reaching a desired lung region following the inhalation of medication.

  • Praxair Services Inc. (Laurel)/University of Maryland, College Park: Building a prototype for Praxair’s line of robotic systems to inspect and assess the integrity of tanks and pipelines throughout the U.S. used in pharmaceutical plants, chemical and petroleum facilities, and military installations.

  • Prasidiux LLC (Bethesda)/University of Maryland, College Park: Refining and fabricating temperature indicators for biopharmaceutical and food products employing smart polymer gels.

  • Revelytix Inc. (Hunt Valley/University of Maryland, Baltimore County: Developing an editor for creating ontologies (taxonomies incorporating implicit knowledge about what data means and how it's related to other data) that enables data to be interchanged and interoperable across many domains, whether it be in various government agencies or health care organizations.

This is the 37th round of MIPS funding. The program has supported research projects with 335 different Maryland companies since 1987.

Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. included a $1 million increase in operating funds for MIPS in his proposed FY 2007 Science & Technology Budget.

February 15, 2006


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