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First Digital Health Awards of QED Program, Two Life Sciences Projects Also Receive Awards

PHILADELPHIA--(December 19, 2012) – Two digital health projects and two life science projects will receive a total of $600,000 from the University City Science Center’s QED Program, the Science Center announced December 19, 2012. Since its launch in 2009, the regionally competitive proof-of-concept program supporting technology commercialization has awarded $3 million to 16 projects in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.

Researchers at Rutgers University, University of Delaware, and Penn State College of Medicine will receive QED funding totaling $600,000 and targeted advice from a team of Business Advisors. The Rutgers researchers are the first to receive awards in QED’s newly created “digital health” track.

“Digital health is an area of great opportunity for the Greater Philadelphia region, and QED is a great vehicle to explore the commercialization potential of digital health technologies in the region. Now that we’ve proved the concept of a digital health track, we’re exploring opportunities for further involvement in this sector,” says Stephen S. Tang, Ph.D., MBA, President and CEO of the Science Center. “The success of the health IT track also demonstrates how QED can be used by partners to explore commercialization opportunities in specific areas.”

Two digital health awards of $100,000 each were made to projects at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Half of the funding will come from QED and half from Rutgers.

 A technology that can enhance the identification of prostate cancer through computer-based image analysis of MRI scans is being developed by Dr. Anant Madabhushi’s team at Rutgers University and Case Western Reserve University.

 A smartphone app to support physical therapy for stroke patients is being developed by Dr. William Craelius of Rutgers University, and co-invented by Nicky Newby of Nian-Crae.

Two awards were also made to life science technologies. Each of the teams below will receive $200,000 (half of which is contributed by the awardee institution):

 A potential drug therapy for prostate cancer, developed from a novel class of compounds by Drs. Robert Sikes and John Koh at the University of Delaware. This is the first QED award for the University of Delaware.

 An eye drop therapy for diabetic retinopathy, being developed by Dr. Joyce Tombran-Tink of Penn State College of Medicine. The technology is based on novel peptide compositions. This is the first QED award for Penn State College of Medicine.

The QED Program reviewed 56 digital health and life science proposals from 11 universities in this fifth round. Among the nine QED-funded projects that have been completed to date from previous rounds, five have been licensed to existing or start-up companies, with more than $9 million in follow-on investment to date.

About The Science Center

The University City Science Center accelerates technology commercialization, regional economic development, and the market availability of life-enhancing scientific breakthroughs by bringing together innovations, scientists, entrepreneurs, funding, laboratory facilities, and business services. Established in 1963 and headquartered in Philadelphia, PA, the Science Center was the first, and remains the largest, urban research park in the United States. Graduate organizations and current residents of the University City Science Center’s Port business incubators have created more than 15,000 jobs that remain in the Greater Philadelphia region today and contribute more than $9 billion to the regional economy annually. For more information:

About the QED Program

The QED Program was launched in April 2009. Twenty-one universities and research institutions in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware participate under a common agreement that defines matching funds and intellectual property management: Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Delaware State University, Drexel University, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, Lankenau Institute for Medical Research, Lehigh University, Monell Chemical Senses Center, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Penn State College of Medicine and Hershey Medical Center, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Philadelphia University, Rutgers University, Temple University, Thomas Jefferson University, University of Delaware, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, University of Pennsylvania, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, Widener University and The Wistar Institute.

QED has received a $1.0 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, plus additional financial support from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority, the William Penn Foundation, and Wexford Science + Technology. The Science Center is currently looking for partners to make a one-time strategic investment to sustain the program.

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