NASHVILLE, Tenn., Jan. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Cumberland Emerging Technologies, Inc. (CET) is pleased to announce that Microbial Novoteqs, Inc. is expanding its presence as a tenant at the downtown CET Life Sciences Center. The company will lease additional wet lab and office space in the newly expanded facility, which is adjacent to the Union Station Hotel. Launched in late 2006 by former Vanderbilt professor of microbiology Hong Fang Ph.D., Microbial Novoteqs works to develop and utilize more economic and efficient technologies for the discovery of drugs to fight global infectious diseases. The company, which is being awarded a three-year grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimated at over $1 million, plans to add two senior scientists devoted to research efforts supported by the grant. The NIH grant will fund study of the development of protease inhibitors to block the enzymes that infectious diseases need to replicate and infect new cells. Similar research has resulted in the development of protease inhibitor drugs that, taken in combination with other drugs, have helped reduce the number of HIV patients who became ill from opportunistic infections by nearly 70 percent. Other infectious diseases which the company's research will target include Dengue fever, Hepatitis A, Japanese encephalitis, Norwalk virus, SARS, West Nile virus and Yellow fever. "This is a very exciting time for our company," said Dr. Fang, who serves as president and chief executive officer of Microbial Novoteqs. "Our research strategy has the potential to dramatically decrease time and reduce costs between drug discovery and patient use. CET's ability to provide infrastructure support and resources necessary at this stage, as well as their experience with the commercialization process, makes them an ideal partner for our company." The CET Life Sciences Center now provides lab and office space, equipment and infrastructure support to seven tenants, including the Tennessee Biotechnology Association, which has established its headquarters at the center. "We are delighted that Microbial Novoteqs has the need for additional space at our Life Sciences Center, and will be bringing new jobs to the facility," said A.J. Kazimi, CEO of CET and Cumberland Pharmaceuticals. "They are an excellent example of the type of tenant our facility was created to assist. As they grow and gain momentum, we're pleased we can play an integral role in furthering their potentially life-saving research." Cumberland Emerging Technologies, Inc. (www.cet-fund.com) is a joint initiative between Vanderbilt University, Cumberland Pharmaceuticals Inc. and the Tennessee Technology Development Corporation. The mission of CET is to bring biomedical technologies and products conceived at Vanderbilt and other regional research centers to the marketplace. CET helps manage the development and commercialization process for select projects, and provides expertise on intellectual property, regulatory, manufacturing and marketing issues that are critical to 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.