Omaha firm's nanotechnology could enhance sunscreen, stroke care

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Posted: Monday, July 8, 2013 12:00 am

UNeMed has signed a licensing agreement for nanotechnology developed at the University of Nebraska Medical Center that could make skin care products better in combatting UV radiation, a major cause of skin cancer and premature skin aging.

The first application of the technology will be able to “deliver a powerful blend of protective antioxidants in topical formulations to protect skin from the sun's UV radiation,” UNMC's technology transfer office said in a statement. The nontoxic, biodegradable system could also be a platform to deliver targeted treatments for other ailments, like stroke and heart disease.

The technology was created by ProTransit Nanotherapy, L.L.C., a new Omaha startup company founded by Gary Madsen, Ph.D., the entrepreneur in residence at UNeMed, and Vinod Labhasetwar, Ph.D., a former faculty member at UNMC and today a professor of biomedical engineering at the Lerner Research Institute at Cleveland Clinic in Ohio.

Madsen will serve as ProTransit Nanotherapies's president and CEO, while Labhasetwar will serve as its Chief Scientific Officer.

Currently, the company is conducting a feasibility study, developing a prototype and raising additional investment in hopes of commercializing the technology within a year and a half. It also has plans for a pilot manufacturing plant at UNMC's Biologics Production Facility.

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