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USF and Saneron get $2.6 million to develop Alzheimer's treatment using umbilical cord blood cells
Date:10/5/2010

The National Institutes of Health has awarded a three-year, $2.6-million grant to the University of South Florida and Tampa-based biotechnology company Saneron-CCEL Therapeutics, Inc., to establish dosing and safety guidelines for transplanting human umbilical cord blood cells (HUBC) into animal models of Alzheimer's disease. The researchers hope to use the pre-clinical data to gain U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval to carry out clinical trials with patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

"Our immediate goal is to move our beneficial findings with cord blood cells into clinical trials for patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease," said the grant's principal investigator Dr. Jun Tan, a USF neuroscientist and professor of psychiatry.

The NIH Phase II Small Business Technology Transfer grant is based on the success of an ongoing research partnership between USF and Saneron aimed at determining the therapeutic benefits HUBCs offer when transplanted into animal models of a variety of neurological diseases, including Parkinson's disease, Lou Gehrig's disease (ALS), Alzheimer's disease and stroke.

"Our next stage of research is translational. This study's primary aims are the completion of preclinical safety and validation studies and the submission of an Investigational New Drug application to the FDA for a Phase I clinical trial," said Nicole Kuzmin-Nichols, president and chief operating officer of Saneron. "Saneron is very pleased and excited that our long-standing research partnership with USF has provided this opportunity to further the commercialization of technology that was developed at USF and transferred to Saneron for further development."

Additional funding will be provided by a Florida High Tech Corridor Industry Matching Grant through USF Connect.

Previous research by USF and Saneron has shown that injecting HUBC into laboratory (in vitro) and animal models (in vivo) of neurodegen
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Contact: Randolph Fillmore
rfillmor@health.usf.edu
813-974-0868
University of South Florida (USF Health)
Source:Eurekalert

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