School of Medicine received $4 million in funding
from the State of Ohio's Third Frontier Initiative
for Targeted Nanoparticles for Imaging and Therapeutics
(TNIP), which will support the development and commercialization of sub-atomic
particles for the early detection of breast cancers and new therapies for hemophilia.
Case Western Reserve University will work in collaboration with University
Hospitals of Cleveland and local companies Cleveland NanoCrystals, Copernicus
Therapeutics, Inc., Ferro Corp., and Ricera Biosciences, Inc. Principal investigator
for TNIP is Pamela B. Davis, M.D., Ph.D., professor of pediatrics at Case and
University Hospitals of Cleveland and senior associate dean for research at
the School of Medicine.
Davis said the plan is to create smart nanoparticles that can accomplish several
- Light up on imaging only at sites of disease,
- Deliver photoactivated molecules to cancerous
lesions so as to kill the tumors, not the healthy
tissue around them,
- Deliver payloads of corrective genes to treat
genetic disorders, and payloads of inhibitory nucleic
acids to suppress viral infections or cancers,
- Deliver effective drugs that are otherwise too
toxic or too insoluble to be used in humans.
“There is a full plan to develop not only the science
but also to bring the drugs to market so that people
can have access to them and benefit,” said Davis. “Diseases
that are targeted are hemophilia, viral infections
The grant was announced by Lt. Gov. Bruce Johnson as part of a $75 million
grant package handed out throughout the state. More than half the funding will
come to Northeast Ohio.
In addition to the nanoparticles grant, the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Case
Western Reserve University and collaborating businesses received two grants
for the creation of the Atrial Fibrillation Innovation Center. A Wright Center
of Innovation (WCI) grant, worth $15 million, and a Biomedical Research and
Technology Transfer Partnership Program (BRTT), worth $8 million, will enable
the center to develop both surgical and non-invasive treatments to prevent
and cure dangerous electrical disturbances of the heart that dramatically increase
the risk of stroke and death. Other Ohio partners include the University of
Cincinnati and AtriCure, Inc. in Cincinnati, which provides doctors with alternative,
more effective surgical technologies.
The Cleveland Clinic and Case also will partner with Wright State University
in Dayton to use a $6 million BRTT grant for the AMD Initiative for Prevention
and Cure. The AMD project will develop a diagnostic test to identify individuals
at risk for adult macular degeneration and to develop techniques for the early
diagnosis and treatment of the disease.
Additionally, the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and Case will join collaborators
across Ohio and the nation to use a $4 million BRTT grant to create the Clinical
Tissue Engineering Center (CTEC), which will create new therapies for the repair
and regeneration of bone, cartilage, tendon and skin. Target diseases include
osteoarthritis, fracture care, osteoporosis, traumatic or degenerative tendon
rupture, and acute and chronic soft tissue wounds.
Johnson said that the grants will help accelerate the commercialization of
new products and strengthen Ohio's role in the knowledge economy. “Through
the Third Frontier Project, we are reclaiming Ohio's culture of innovation,” said
Johnson, who also serves as director of the Department of Development and chair
of the Third Frontier Commission. “These grants build upon Ohio's research
strengths and focus on the development of new products in order to strengthen
our economy and create good jobs.”
In collaboration with The Ohio State University Research Foundation and others,
the Cleveland Clinic Foundation is receiving a BRTT grant of $4.25 million
for a Commercialization Platform of Immunotherapeutics for Multiple Sclerosis,
which will develop and commercialize new therapies involving the body's immune
system to delay and control the onset of multiple sclerosis.
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., Kent State University, the Sherwin-Williams
Co., the Timken Co., the University of Akron, and various other state and national
collaborators will work with The Ohio State University to develop the Center
Ohio Center for Multifunctional Polymer Nanomaterials and Devices (CMPND).
The $22.5 million WCI grant will provide for the acquisition of highly advanced
equipment to develop new materials that will improve the strength and durability
of components that will be part of automobiles and other manufactured products.
CMPND will include a broad-based research, business and outreach program centered
at OSU with regional sites at the University of Akron and the University of
Dayton and more than 50 company collaborators across Ohio. The project also
will have support from the Ohio Polymer Strategy Council.
The Wright Centers of Innovation support large-scale world-class research and
technology development platforms designed to accelerate the pace of new product
development in Ohio. Wright Centers are characterized by collaboration among
Ohio's higher education institutions, non-profit research organizations and
Ohio companies in the areas of advanced materials, bioscience, power and propulsion,
information technology and instruments, controls and electronics. The proposals
are independently reviewed by the National Academy of Sciences and selected
by the Third Frontier Commission.
One additional WCI recipient was OSU's College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental
Sciences and its business collaborators, who will receive a $11.6 million grant
for the creation of the Ohio BioProducts Center. The center will develop chemical
conversion technologies to produce products such as lubricants and adhesive
from raw materials grown in Ohio, including corn and soybeans, giving Ohio
farmers a new market for their goods.
“The Ohio BioProducts Innovation Center is a perfect example of how the Third
Frontier can benefit Ohio's First Frontier, agriculture,” said Johnson. “High-tech
advances in polymers have the potential for opening up new markets for Ohio-grown
The BRTT Program supports biomedical and biotechnology research intended to
lead to job creation and improvements in the health of Ohioans. Awarded projects
are collaborations among Ohio higher education institutions, non-profit research
organizations and Ohio companies in the areas of human genetics and genomics,
structural biology, biomedical engineering, computational biology, plant biology
and environmental biology. Like the Wright Center awards, they are reviewed
by the National Academy of Sciences and selected by the Third Frontier Commission.
A 10-year, $1.1 billion initiative, the Ohio Third Frontier Project is the
state's largest-ever commitment to expand Ohio's high-tech research capabilities
and promote start-up companies to create high-paying jobs for generations to
More information about Nanoparticle for Human Therapeutics and Diagnostic
Imaging from the grant application:
This application will develop nanoparticles for human therapeutics and diagnostic
imaging and bring them to market to improve the health of Ohioans. Nanoparticles
consist of a payload, a biocompatibility component, and sometimes targeting
ligands. Payloads fall into three categories: 1) nucleic acids, such as DNA
for gene therapy of genetic diseases, or siRNAs to silence genes that contribute
to pathology in man, such as cancer or viral infections; 2) small molecules
that may be too toxic, insoluble, or fragile to be administered alone, such
as drugs intended to kill tumor cells or control blood clotting within vessels;
and 3) molecules for imaging, such as nanocrystals that emit light of particular
wavelength, or molecules that signal in magnetic resonance spectrometers. Targeting
moieties deliver nanoparticles directly to their intended site of action. The
program subsumes scientific projects already funded elsewhere, novel scientific
projects, and cores to facilitate the rapid development of nanoparticles from
idea to product. Cores range from Molecular and Analytical Cores to Animal,
Imaging, and GLP Cores: most are already equipped and operational. In parallel
to the scientific program, and strongly interactive with it, is a commercialization
program for protection of intellectual property, obtaining initial support
to validate the intended use of the nanoparticles, and catalyzing funding to
launch or expand commercialization of nanoparticles and bring them to market.
This program capitalizes on strong well funded science of nanoparticles already
present at Case, as well as that at local companies, and on the commercial
expertise in the Case tech transfer office, local companies, and venture funds.
We include professors experienced in commercialization, brilliant assistant
professors with marvelous new ideas, companies freshly minted, and others that
are established in manufacture. Some nanoparticles have passed Phase I clinical
trial; others are in development. This range of talents and products bode well
for rapid, synergistic scientific development and advance of products to market.
Pamela B. Davis, Case Western Reserve University, Principal Investigator; James
Ault, Ricerca Biosciences, LLC, Core Director; Mark Brandt, Maple Fund, Commercialization
Council; Clemens Burda, Case Western Reserve University, Co-investigator; Mark
Cooper, Copernicus Therapeutics, Inc., Project PI, Core Director; Patrick E.
Crago, Case Western Reserve University, Advisory Board; Mitch Drumm, Case Western
Reserve University and University Hospitals of Cleveland, Core Director; Jeffrey
Duerk, Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals of Cleveland,
Core Director; Maryann Fitzmaurice, Case Western Reserve University, Project
PI; Joe Jankowski, Case Western Reserve University, Co-investigator; Malcolm
E. Kenney, Case Western Reserve University, Co-investigator; Carl Lentz, Ferro
Corporation, Advisory Board; Roger Marchant, Case Western Reserve University,
Co-Investigator; Robert Moen, Copernicus Therapeutics, Inc., Co-investigator;
Nancy L. Oleinick, Case Western Reserve University, Project PI; Mark Pagel,
Case Western Reserve University, Project PI ; Donna Richardson, Cleveland Nanocrystals,
Co-Investigator; Andrew M. Rollins, Case Western Reserve University, Co-Investigator;
David M. Stout, Ricerca Biosciences, LLC, Co-Investigator; Anna van Heeckeren,
Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals of Cleveland, Core
Director; Michael Watson, Ricerca Biosciences, LLC , Co-investigator; Stuart
J. Youngner, Case Western Reserve University, Advisory Board; Assem G. Ziady,
Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals of Cleveland, Project
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