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
(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
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.