Hospitals

Minnesota biotech fund invests $5.4 million in new projects

The Minnesota Partnership for Biotechnology and Medical Genomics will fund $5.4 million in research for six projects ranging from new treatments for cancer to cell therapy for cardiac arrhythmias.

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The Minnesota Partnership for Biotechnology and Medical Genomics will fund $5.4 million in research for six projects ranging from new treatments for cancer to cell therapy for cardiac arrhythmias.

The goal of the state-funded program is to take research – developed jointly by staff at the University of Minnesota and Mayo Clinic – and create intellectual property or attract additional funding from the federal government or through private funds.

The funding will last for two years.

“These six projects reflect some of the best science and scientific minds in Minnesota,” Eric Wieben, partnership program director at Mayo Clinic, stated in a news release. “All of these projects have a strong likelihood of succeeding and advancing to the bioscience marketplace.”

The funding awards and research are:

  • About $957,000 to develop viral constructs that will combat prostate, breast, pancreatic, esophageal and lung cancers.
  • About $904,000 to develop a gene therapy for Friedreich ataxia, a genetic neurodegenerative disease that causes muscle paralysis in lower extremities.
  • About $723,000 to develop novel drugs to keep small neuroendocrine tumors from becoming malignant cancers.
  • About $828,000 for cell-based therapies to treat arrhythmias in cardiac patients.
  • About $1.08 million to develop a nano-device that measures the strength of antibodies on the surface of cells, which could treat multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and spinal cord injuries.
  • $895,000 to develop sulfide-based drugs to treat inflammatory bowel diseases like ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

The partnership is a collaboration between the University of Minnesota, Mayo Clinic and the state of Minnesota.