PITTSBURGH, Sept. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- The Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse (PLSG), the private/public partnership putting the region's life sciences industry on a fast track for growth, today announced it has invested $99,198 in KeyBay Pharma, Inc., to fund research to improve treatment of lung infections in children with Cystic Fibrosis. The research, conducted by Timothy Mietzner, Ph.D., of the University of Pittsburgh, and Robert Fatora, Ph.D., of KeyBay, is dedicated to the identification of a lead drug candidate for the treatment of serious lung infections which commonly affect children with Cystic Fibrosis.
"The PLSG investment will allow the inventors to develop a new class of peptide antibiotics that will give new hope to sufferers of infectious disease," said Doros Platika, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of the PLSG. "Infectious diseases are the leading cause of transience and death in the world and the third leading cause of death in the US - making the anti- infective drug market a huge opportunity for product development." Dr. Platika continued, "This technology shows potential to address infections that are resistant to conventional antibiotics."
The PLSG investment, which is provided under the Technology Development Fund (TDF) program, will be complimented with a company and university match of approximately $231,983. The TDF is designed to help accelerate the development of research-based projects which could be the genesis of new companies to be established regionally; or very early stage company-based projects which require key proof of concept or feasibility studies to allow attraction of angel, pre-seed or other investment funds.
Dr. Fatora formed KeyBay to develop antimicrobial peptides that are licensed from the University of Pittsburgh which are the focus of the research. "The PLSG is investing in a technology that offers tremendous potential in developing treatments that can effectively counter the root causes of lung infections that commonly plague children with Cystic Fibrosis. This technology minimizes the possibility of an inflammatory immune response or toxicity problems," said Dr. Fatora, President and CEO of KeyBay Pharma.
About the Technology Development Fund (TDF)
The Technology Development Fund is a competitive funding program designed to increase the commercialization potential of life science technologies developed by the region's scientists and entrepreneurs. The intent is to provide financial support to verify the technical and commercial feasibility of early stage inventions that will accelerate and increase the likelihood that the technology will be successfully commercialized through a regional start-up company. It is expected that proposals will contain a combination of technical and business tasks. These funds can be used in conjunction with or to leverage other early sources of funding.
About the PLSG
The Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse is a public/private partnership, founded by the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University, UPMC Health System, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and its regional foundation community. Together with private industry and advanced research and healthcare capabilities of our institutional partners, PLSG invests in and supports the growth of regional life sciences companies in the areas of: bioinformatics; bionanotechnology; diagnostics; medical devices; medical robotics; therapeutics; and tools and services.
Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse