Cumberland Emerging Technologies and UT Research Foundation Sign License Agreement for New Technology Research Alliance Awarded NIH Grant to Study Promising Asthma Treatment

NASHVILLE, Tenn. and KNOXVILLE, Tenn., Feb. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Nashville-based Cumberland Emerging Technologies, Inc. (CET) and the University of Tennessee Research Foundation (UTRF) today announced they have entered into a license agreement for a promising new asthma treatment discovered at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. Under the agreement, CET is providing formulation, grant funding, regulatory and product development assistance in exchange for rights to commercialize the new technology.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090210/CLTU112 )

The joint development project has received more than $190,000 in grant funding, including a recent Phase I grant award of nearly $112,000 from the National Institutes of Health under the Small Business Technology Transfer program. Additional grant funding was provided by the University of Tennessee Research Foundation and CET. The grants will support continued study of a technology designed to prevent remodeling of airway smooth muscle and thereby reduce or eliminate asthmatic reaction in pediatric patients.

Airway remodeling occurs when the cells or muscles that line the airway become inflamed and can result in decreased lung function. Currently, there is no treatment available that prevents remodeling of the airway smooth muscle. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, more than 6.8 million children under age 17 in the United States suffer from asthma.

"Our mission at UTRF is to support the research enterprise and find ways to take research results to the marketplace in a way that benefits society," said Fred Tompkins, President of UTRF. "With the expertise and commitment of CET's development team, we are one step closer to a treatment that could reduce -- and even prevent -- asthma attacks in children. We are delighted to have their support as we continue this promising research."

University of Tennessee College of Medicine researcher and primary investigator Dr. Dukhee Betty Lew will conduct non-clinical studies to identify appropriate dosing for the drug. Upon completion of the non-clinical program, CET, the University of Tennessee (UT) and UTRF plan to seek additional grant funding to study the drug's efficacy in patients.

The joint development project is a result of the 2006 collaboration agreement between CET and UTRF to further research efforts at the university by leveraging CET's technology development and regulatory expertise.

"Licensing this technology is an important milestone for CET," said A.J. Kazimi, Chief Executive Officer of Cumberland Pharmaceuticals and CET. "Not only are we adding a promising new product candidate to our development pipeline, we are also providing researchers with the resources necessary to advance this important work. This is precisely what we envisioned when we created CET to bridge the gap between the research laboratory and the commercial marketplace."

The University of Tennessee Research Foundation, a Tennessee not-for-profit corporation, helps turn the ideas and discoveries that emerge from the University of Tennessee into products and services that benefit society. In addition to supporting the growth of the UT research enterprise and commercializing the resulting inventions, UTRF champions entrepreneurship and drives state and regional technology-based economic development. UTRF serves all seven of the UT campuses and institutes across the state. For more information, visit http://utrf.tennessee.edu.

Cumberland Emerging Technologies, Inc. is a joint initiative between Cumberland Pharmaceuticals Inc., Vanderbilt University and the Tennessee Technology Development Corporation. The mission of CET (www.cet-fund.com) is to bring biomedical technologies and products conceived at regional research centers to the marketplace. CET manages the development and commercialization process for select projects and provides intellectual property, regulatory, manufacturing and marketing expertise that is critical for successful new biomedical products. CET's Life Sciences Center located in Nashville, Tennessee provides laboratory space, equipment and infrastructure to early- stage life sciences companies.

SOURCE Cumberland Emerging Technologies, Inc.



RELATED LINKS
http://utrf.tennessee.edu
http://www.cet-fund.com

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