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UM Ventures Announces Collaboration Between UM School Of Medicine's Dr. Frank Robb and Fina Biosolutions
Date:7/11/2013

BALTIMORE, July 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --  University of Maryland (UM) Ventures announced today a collaboration between Frank Robb, Ph.D., at the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology, and Department of Microbiology & Immunology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and Rockville, Maryland-based Fina Biosolutions LLC to devise new ways to manufacture a key component used in many vaccines. The international nonprofit organization, PATH, which spurs new innovation with the goal of delivering high-impact, low-cost global health solutions such as lifesaving vaccines, will fund the partnership's development efforts as part of its pneumococcal vaccine project.

"A new and improved vaccine production method is the goal of this public-private partnership between my lab and Fina Biosolutions," said Dr. Robb. "It is designed to yield broader availability of an important vaccine component, which is highly effective, but prohibitively expensive for some applications, particularly in the developing world."

Dr. Robb, whose lab is in the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology, has studied a unique group of microbes found in extreme environments ("extremophiles"). These astonishing organisms, many of them from marine hydrothermal vents (so-called "Black Smokers"), have chaperone systems that enable them to survive and even thrive in extreme heat and harsh chemical conditions. When the extremophile chaperone systems are transferred to ordinary bacteria, they become more stable to heat or solvent exposure. Dr. Robb's team has developed several technologies, patented by the University of Maryland, which are base
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