XLerateHealth, Southeast XLerator Network announce National Institutes of Health funding

XLerateHealth (XLH), its affiliate, the Southeast XLerator Network (XLN) and XLN Academic Lead, the University of Kentucky, announced that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has approved XLN’s External Advisory Committee’s (EAC) recommendation to fund the continued development of seven biomedical innovations that represent various areas of technology, from medical devices to diagnostics and therapeutics.

The funding is part of the XLerator Network’s “Ideas to Products” (I2P) program that supports researchers with competitive proof-of-concept (POC) funding that will help accelerate healthcare technologies for commercialization across the Southeast IDeA States.

I2P was developed to connect healthcare researchers with funds to support pilot projects that help assess the commercialization potential of their innovations coming from the laboratory. I2P is not a traditional academic grant program; it is milestones-based and product-focused with checkpoints on research along the way.

XLN’s EAC members performed a rigorous review of 55 proposals, scoring them based on criteria including description of unmet need, market size, competitive landscape, IP status, regulatory and reimbursement considerations, development milestones, and personnel. The best-scored applications were selected for funding recommendations, with a total amount of $200,000 available for this round of funding.

“Our EAC members were delighted to see the high quality of the proposals we were asked to review, and wished there were more funds to provide them, as we had to pick the very best from those that made it to the final group,” said Dr. David McLoughlin, vice president of Adaptive Biotechnologies and XLN EAC Chair.

The winning proposals include:

  • “R-FIX (Rib-FIXation System) for severe progressive spinal deformity” by Dr. Yao from Clemson University (South Carolina)
  • “Development of an immune-based non-invasive diagnostic assay for endometriosis” by Dr. Flores from Ponce Health Sciences University (Puerto Rico)
  • “Multifunctional Chitosan-Genipin Hydrogel Biomaterials for Wound Healing Applications” by Dr. Caldorera-Moore from Louisiana Tech University (Louisiana)
  • “Temporally-controlled site-specific delivery of endocrine FGF1 to prevent heart failure” by Dr. Sakon from University of Arkansas (Arkansas)
  • “Non-invasive assessment of coronary stenosis in real-time” by Dr. Berson from University of Louisville (Kentucky)
  • “Hemocompatible antimicrobial peptides for drug-resistant bacteria” by Dr. Wimley from Tulane University (Louisiana)
  • “Development of multi-gene assays for diagnostics and prognostics of breast, ovarian and lung cancer utilizing FFPE patient samples” by Dr. Guo from WVU (West Virginia)

I2P is funded through an NIH Administrative Supplement that has been provided to augment the original grant to create the XLerator Network, one of four Institutional Development Award (IDeA) State region “hubs” supported by the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program.

The STTR program funds research and development partnerships between small businesses and academic institutions. This grant is managed by the National Institutes of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) and is expected to total more than $3.7M for XLH and the project’s 24 partnered academic institutions through 2021.


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