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Cumberland Emerging Technologies And University Of Mississippi Awarded National Institutes of Health (NIH) Research Grant


1/24/2006 11:52:14 AM

NASHVILLE, Tenn. and OXFORD, Miss., Jan. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- A research alliance between Cumberland Emerging Technologies (CET) and the University of Mississippi (UM) has been awarded a Phase I grant from the National Institutes of Health under the Small Business Technology Transfer program. The grant funds further study of a highly purified, injectable anti-infective used to treat fungal infections in immuno-compromised patients, including those with AIDS and cancer as well as organ transplant recipients.

While this drug is the therapeutic of choice for infectious disease specialists in treating these fungal infections, it can produce serious side effects related to renal toxicity, often resulting in dosage limitations or discontinued use. University of Mississippi researchers Dr. John Cleary of the School of Pharmacy and Dr. Stanley Chapman and Dr. Robert Kramer of the University of Mississippi Medical Center have developed what they believe is a purer and safer form of the anti-infective by eliminating fermentation contaminants.

The NIH grant funds continued laboratory study over a 12-month period. Upon completion of this phase, CET and UM plan to seek additional NIH funding to study the drug's efficacy in patients. CET has the option to license the patent-pending technology.

"We are pleased to attract this financial support for the University of Mississippi to address this critical medical need," said A.J. Kazimi, chief executive officer of CET. "By combining our expertise in drug development and commercialization with the university's research initiatives, we look forward to ultimately making this treatment -- and others like it -- available to those who will benefit."

"We are excited to have the opportunity to continue this promising research," said Barbara Wells, dean of the UM School of Pharmacy. "We believe this grant will be the first of many positive developments that will result from our research alliance with CET."

Founded in 1908, the UM School of Pharmacy (http://www.pharmacy.olemiss.edu ) offers degree programs to undergraduate and graduate students. Through the campus-based Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences and its two divisions, the National Center for Natural Products Research and the Center for Pharmaceutical Marketing and Management, the university conducts research to improve human health and agricultural productivity. The university's Division of Technology Management has successfully licensed 17 technologies over the past five years, including three pharmaceutical candidates in clinical trials.

Cumberland Emerging Technologies, Inc. is a joint initiative between Vanderbilt University, Cumberland Pharmaceuticals Inc. and the Tennessee Technology Development Corporation. The mission of CET (http://www.cet-fund.com ) is to bring biomedical technologies and products conceived at Vanderbilt and other regional research centers to the commercial marketplace. CET helps manage the development and commercialization process for select projects, and provides expertise on intellectual property, regulatory, manufacturing and marketing issues that are critical to successful new biomedical products. CET's Life Sciences Center, located in Nashville, Tennessee, provides laboratory space, equipment and infrastructure to early-stage life sciences companies.

Cumberland Emerging Technologies

CONTACT: Rebecca Kirkham of Lovell Communications, +1-615-297-7766



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