Seed Funds Help Make NIH Funding Possible
A project, originally supported by McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine through seed funds from the Pennsylvania Commonwealth, has now received National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding. The National Institute of General Medical Sciences at the NIH recently announced that Qrono Inc. will receive a Small Business Technology Transfer Grant in 2012. The grant is entitled “A New In Silico Design Platform for Building Custom Controlled-Release Systems.”
Qrono Inc. is headed by University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering PhD candidate student Sam Rothstein and CEO Larry Zana. Mr. Rothstein and McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine faculty member Steven Little, PhD, chair of the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, associate professor, and Bicentennial Alumni Faculty Fellow of the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering, are the company’s founders.
The grant is entitled “A New In Silico Design Platform for Building Custom Controlled-Release Systems” and is based on Mr. Rothstein’s postdoctoral work. The project intends to demonstrate that Qrono’s technology can be used to produce customized controlled-release systems for several target pharmaceuticals in an unprecedented, rapid period of time.
Qrono is a Pittsburgh-based startup company which was launched with the help of Nehal Bhojak and the Idea Foundry. Qrono was founded to commercialize the University of Pittsburgh’s new computational platform for controlled-release formulation design. Qrono’s software-driven formulation design process offers three key advantages in the production of custom controlled-release and microencapsulated systems:
- In vitro design weeks to months faster than by standard experimental methods
- Critical parameters automatically identified for quality by design manufacture
- Finely tuned release behavior from commonly used materials such as polyesters and polyanhydrides that have extensive records of FDA-approved application, thus simplifying scale-up and regulatory testing
Illustration: Qrono, Inc.