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MARBIONC Forges Public-private Partnership

By Jenny Callison, posted Jul 23, 2014
A new partnership announced Wednesday by the University of North Carolina Wilmington gives a private company the licensing rights to a series of products developed by university researchers.
 
Ocis Biotechnology, a tenant in UNCW’s MARBIONC center, will use Escortin, a trademarked series of products made at MARBIONC from seaweed, in its research. Ocis hopes that Escortin carriers will be successful in delivering vitamin C directly into cells, according to UNCW’s news release.
 
Ocis Biotechnology is focused on creating modern therapy solutions for wounds, skin cancer and for use in ophthalmology, the release stated.
 
If the Escortin carriers work as hoped, Ocis’ research will explore how the controlled delivery of vitamin C to specific parts of the body spurs tissue regeneration in healing chronic wounds and vision correction, the release stated, adding, “Past studies have shown that vitamin C can regenerate, renew and repair tissue by stimulating and accelerating the body’s native tissue production mechanism.”
 
Lisa Day, the CEO of Ocis Biotechnology, sees promise in both the project and the resources available to her company at MARBIONC.
 
“We all see the future in therapeutic delivery technology, and we are looking forward to our growth and the ability to create job opportunities for UNCW graduates and the Wilmington community,” she said in the release.
 
Over the next several weeks, Ocis will work with a MARBIONC research team led by Andrea Bourdelais, UNCW research associate professor, to collect preliminary data for a Small Business Technology Transfer grant application, the release stated. If awarded, the grant would support research and future commercialization efforts of the Escortin-vitamin C combination.
 
“MARBIONC was conceived to create opportunities for UNCW exactly like the partnership we are forming with Ocis Biotechnology,” Dan Baden, MARBIONC executive director, said in the release. “If this research proves that the conjugate can successfully permeate the skin, MARBIONC and Ocis will be able to create a product that hasn’t been seen on the market before and has the potential to drastically change lives for the better.”
 
For their part, MARBIONC researchers have great hopes for their Escortin carriers, which they believe have the potential to greatly enhance medical research by broadening the chemicals and imaging agents that can be transported across the cell membranes, according to information on the MARBIONC website.
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