january 17, 2003

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OU Pens Collaborative Agreement with NanoBioMagnetics

The University of Oklahoma and NanoBioMagnetics Inc. (NBMI) of Oklahoma City have announced the establishment of a Collaborative Research Agreement under which the two organizations will explore the use of magnetically responsive nanoparticles in a range of human health applications. NBMI is developing proprietary technology in the use of magnetically responsive nanoparticles as Organ-Assisting-Devices in the emerging field of nanomedicine. NBMI is focusing on OADs for drug delivery and organ bioswitches and will work with OU in validating developed technologies in human health applications.

According to W. Arthur "Skip" Porter, vice president for technology development at OU, "This agreement with NBMI is consistent with the university's commitment to pioneer cutting-edge technologies. Like computer technology, it is my opinion that the emerging field of nanotechnology will soon affect all aspects of our everyday lives. The application of this new technology to health care holds the promise of more effective and less invasive treatment for a wide range of human maladies."

Charles Seeney, co-founder and CEO of NBMI, echoes this view. "The field of nanomedicine, especially this new area of OADs, offers much potential for new treatment options for human health disorders. We are looking to this association with OU to be the beginning of a nanobiotechnology center for Oklahoma."

NBMI was recently awarded a $118,000 Phase 1 SBIR grant by the National Institutes of Health for the research and development of components employing nanotechnology for a new generation of implantable hearing devices. Dr. Kenneth Dormer, a professor of physiology with the OU Health Sciences Center and co-founder of NBMI, will lead the research team.

Also, under development at NBMI are magnetically responsive nanoparticles that function as vehicles or carriers for therapeutics. These drug delivery systems will be developed in a manner that will allow them to be vectored to specific sites within the human body for enhanced therapeutic effects.

"Although our initial thrust here will be nanoparticles as part of a drug delivery system, we will soon be applying developed platform technologies to other OAD applications," says Seeney.

Dan Davis, executive director of the Office of Technology Development, who led the negotiations for OU, points out that the agreement with NBMI is indicative of the benefits the state of Oklahoma is reaping since the passage of State Questions 680 and 681.

"These two pieces of legislation have opened the doors of the university to private industry," says Davis. "It's a win-win situation. Private industry can take advantage of our world-class research facilities and, in return, the university shares in the research funding and subsequent royalties which directly benefit our students."

Story Contact: Dan Davis, University of Oklahoma, 405/325-3800
Charles Seeney, NanoBioMagnetics Inc., 405/844-5118