GRA Distinguished Investigator Biao He and colleagues at the University of Georgia have used parainfluenza virus 5 (PIV5), which causes respiratory infection in dogs, as a delivery mechanism to expose humans and animals to the rabies virus, allowing them to create antibodies that protect against future infections. The researchers hope that the new approach will reduce costs and increase accessibility to a vaccine for the disease. Initial results from canine tests have been promising. He hopes to have a vaccine for animals available in three to five years.
He also sees the promise of using the platform technology for other vaccines — including ones for HIV, tuberculosis and malaria. “This could be man’s new best friend in delivering vaccines,” He said. “We are looking for different kinds of pathogens to develop into vaccine form, and so far we have been very fortunate that many of them work really well.” Read more here>
The remora attaches itself to large marine animals, including sharks, sea turtles and whales, for transportation, protection and food. While enjoying a free ride, the fish eats the animal’s scraps and hides from predators – a process that’s good for the remora and causes no harm to the larger animal.
The head-mounted adhesive system the remora uses to attach and detach itself has been a research focus of Georgia Tech Research Institute scientists Jason Nadler and Allison Mercer. Their ultimate goal is to optimize a bio-inspired adhesive that has capabilities and performance advantages over adhesives or fasteners available today.
GRA VentureLab director Keith McGreggor at Georgia Tech has seen significant commercial potential in the research, and, using GRA VentureLab grants and GTRI funding, the researchers are working to create an engineered reversible adhesive inspired by the remora that could be used to make pain and residue-free bandages, attach sensors to aquatic objects for the military use or help robots climb. Read more here>
GRA Eminent Scholar Max Cooper will be awarded an honorary degree from Duke University at its May 12 Commencement. Dr. Cooper was recruited to Emory University in 2008, where he is the GRA Eminent Scholar in Immunology. A member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine, he was the first to identify the two arms of the immune system — T cells and B cells — a cornerstone for understanding and marshalling its power. Read more here>
Mountain Capital Group and its affiliates and Santen, a wholly owned subsidiary of Japan-based Santen Pharmaceuticals, are funding a $7.9 million investment Clearside Biomedical. A graduate of GRA VentureLab, Clearside offers a proprietary microinjection system developed at Georgia Tech and is testing a new drug developed at Emory University to treat posterior ocular diseases.
“I cannot imagine a better alliance as we continue to understand the role the suprachoroidal space will play in dosing medicine directly to the site of retinal disease in patients experiencing retinal blindness,” said Dan While, Clearside’s chief executive.
In January 2012, the company closed a $4 million Series A round with investments from the GRA Venture Fund, Hatteras Venture Partners and Kenan Flagler Business School Private Equity Fund. Read more here>
A recent news brief in CED, an electronic magazine focused on broadband communications, Comcast has selected Lancope to “give it deeper insight into data center issues and block network attacks.”
Using Lancope’s StealthWatch, Comcast will perform traffic analysis on its backbone, enable distributed denial-of-service detection at its service delivery layer, and troubleshoot at its data center and enterprise layers. According to Comcast, StealthWatch scaled better than competitive tools by a 10-to-1 ratio and allows data center issue resolution time to be reduced from days or weeks to a few hours.
GRA Eminent Scholar John Copeland at Georgia Tech founded Lancope in 2000. The company’s StealthWatch system is now the most widely used solution for “network behavior analysis” and has received wide acclaim in the computer security industry, having captured multiple awards since its first release in 2001. Read more here>
QUE Oncology, a newly-launched GRA VentureLab company, will license intellectual property originating from research discoveries at the Emory Institute for Drug Development and the University of Queensland in Australia. The new company was created through a partnership of Emory University and UniQuest, a leading Australian research commercialization company.
“Bringing together the expertise and discoveries of these leading innovation hubs creates an attractive prospect for global biotech investors and also for pharmaceutical companies, which are looking to outsource R&D for potential new drugs at an earlier stage more so than ever before,” said David Henderson, UniQuest’s managing director.
Research projects that have been identified to start the QUE Oncology pipeline relate to prostate cancer, breast cancer, multiple myeloma and melanoma, as well as pain and menopausal systems. Read more here>
GRA Eminent Scholar Joe Tsien of Georgia Regents University and his collaborators have reported that the declining ability in adults to filter and eliminate old information may make it harder to learn and acquire new information.
“When you are young, your brain is able to strengthen certain connections and weaken certain connections to make new memories,” said Tsien, who is co-director of the GRU Brain & Behavior Discovery Institute. This weakening appears to be hampered as people age. “If you only make synapses [which carry information between neurons] stronger and never get rid of the noise or less useful information, then it’s a problem.”
In the study, the research team used genetically modified mice that mimic the adult ratio of two NMDA receptor subunits that regulate learning and memory. Read more here>