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Mimetic Solutions LLC has chosen the University of Kentucky's on-campus business incubator, the Advanced Science and Technology Commercialization Center (ASTeCC), as the location for its research and development lab in smart-release drug-delivery technology.
Mimetic Solutions is a biopharmaceutical startup that focuses on smart-release chemistry, including finely tuned drug and chemical releases in response to specific biomarkers. The first application of the technology likely will be smart release of insulin in response to blood glucose levels in diabetic patients.
Brian Windsor, managing director of Mimetic Solutions, attributed the selection of UK to "the state-of-the-art facilities and the scientific environment the University of Kentucky offers."
The company's R&D lab in ASTeCC will be headed by UK chemical engineering assistant professor Zach Hilt and University of Texas at Austin chemical engineering professor Nicholas Peppas. Hilt and Peppas worked on the core technology on which Mimetic is based. They are co-editors of one of the first nanotechnology books in the field of therapeutic drug delivery. Mimetic is managed and funded by Emergent Technologies Inc. of Austin, Texas.
"Mimetic Solutions is at the forefront of the growing field of smart polymer chemistry. Our work will focus on drug delivery using our core Affinimer™ technology, which involves smart polymers that are engineered to release active agents as a result of binding specific bioactive markers, such as the delivery of a therapeutic in response to a key biomarker in a patient's blood," Hilt said.
"There's no question that Mimetic Solutions is a great fit with UK's goal to be a catalyst for faculty startups and new businesses using UK technology. We not only provide incubator space, but we also provide the kinds of business structure support and expertise that are essential in successfully launching a new company," said Len Heller, UK's vice president for commercialization and economic development.
UK President Lee T. Todd Jr. expressed enthusiasm regarding Mimetic Solutions coming to ASTeCC. "UK has been a leader in pharmaceutical advances for decades, and Mimetic Solutions' presence here demonstrates the increasing recognition of our commitment to being an economic engine behind the growth of the knowledge-based economy in Kentucky," Todd said.
The Advanced Science and Technology Commercialization Center, better known as ASTeCC, is the University of Kentucky's showplace for multidisciplinary research, technology transfer, and new business startups. ASTeCC is a combination faculty research facility and commercialization center.
The ASTeCC building, located in the heart of the UK campus, features two types of lab space -- faculty labs and labs for business startups that have a connection to UK faculty or staff, or that have licensed UK intellectual property. Faculty with labs in ASTeCC represent colleges throughout the university, and faculty all across campus use ASTeCC as a hub for tech-transfer activities. ASTeCC also houses a number of shared research and support resources for the entire UK community.
The $17 million, 80,000-square-foot ASTeCC building opened its doors in 1994. The project was funded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration and the Small Business Administration.
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