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One Step Closer: Novel Opioid Receptor Compound in Phase I Clinical Trials
Date:5/8/2009

iglass from McGill University, a Kentucky bluegrass hybrid from Rutgers, and even television's V-Chip from Simon Fraser University), among others.

Founded in the 1990s, Rensselaer's Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC), affiliated with the Incubator Program and the Rensselaer Technology Park, helps the Institute protect intellectual property and forges relationships with industry to bring Rensselaer's discoveries to the marketplace. The OTC also contributes to the local economy by spinning off new companies that are based upon technology developed by university faculty, students, and researchers. Discoveries in nanotechnology, electronics, energy, biotechnology, and terahertz are all part of the Institute's expanding intellectual property portfolio and reflect Rensselaer's aggressive, expanding research initiative.

The initial research leading to Wentland's latest discovery was funded in 1999 through a $826,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health/National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH-NIDA) in an effort to discover novel drugs to treat cocaine abuse. In 2002, Wentland's NIH grant was renewed for an additional $1.6 million, and he was awarded new funding from Albany Molecular Research Inc. for a postdoctoral associate position. In 2007, the NIH grant was renewed again for $1.25 million.

"My life's ambition has been to identify a compound that's actually helping people. That has been my entire focus for the last 39 years," Wentland said. He had a choice: Go the traditional route of publishing findings in a scientific journal and then seek additional research grants, or try for development and clinical trials through a licensing agreement with a pharmaceutical company. Given that therapeutics are largely developed by such companies, Wentland said the decision wasn't difficult. He began discussions with the OTC.

After six years of work, which included the
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SOURCE Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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