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Major State Grant Accelerates Research and Development of Novel Cancer Therapy
Date:9/5/2008

BOCA RATON, Fla., Sept. 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Florida Technology, Research and Scholarship Board recently awarded Florida Atlantic University researcher Dr. Herbert Weissbach, distinguished professor and director of the Center for Molecular Biology and Biotechnology in the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science, and CHS Resources LLC (CHS), $184,294 as part of the State University Research Commercialization Assistance Grant program (SURECAG). SURECAG was established by the Florida Legislature in 2007 to promote the commercialization of university research products to enhance the state's economy and its public universities. With these funds, universities are able to promote their commercialization endeavors by securing patents, establishing startup companies, developing licensing agreements and attracting private investments.

FAU, together with CHS (which licensed this technology from FAU), submitted a proposal for Weissbach's discovery of a novel combination of agents that work to preferentially target and kill cancer cells. In addition, CHS was instrumental in providing FAU with a matching grant -- a stipulation of the SURECAG program -- for a total of $368,588 for research and development. CHS is currently developing this therapy for treatment of actinic keratosis (AK), a precancerous skin condition, and "proof-of-concept" studies are ongoing. CHS is simultaneously developing an over-the-counter skin protective agent with unique antioxidant properties.

"SURECAG is designed to create a more vital link between venture capitalists, industry and Florida's state universities," said Dr. Gary Perry, dean of the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. "This grant is essential to support product development activities necessary to help CHS obtain approval from the FDA to perform clinical trials that will lead to drug approval."

Weissbach and his team initially identified a lead compound that in combination with an oxidizing agent or age
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SOURCE Florida Atlantic University
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