Audax Medical, Inc., a Massachusetts-based medical innovations developer, worked with Northeastern University to license a repurposed pre-market technology that uses a nano-molecular approach to viral therapy and can be deployed in the fight against COVID.
Audax first licensed Northeastern's tech to provide an injectable nano-molecular material that could help regenerate tissue and cartilage in patients. As development continued, in the years since Audax's licensing, researchers noticed that these molecules also helped prevent the spread of bacterial infections. The technology is still being commercialized for several regenerative medicine applications.
When the pandemic hit, the team pivoted to potential treatment applications, determining that there was additional nanotechnology that could be used for anti-viral applications, including a flexible solution for COVID. Since it and viruses in general are nano-meter structures, the nano-molecular focus is well-suited to combating the virus by disrupting its function.
"This was our call to action,” said Ted Werth, Director of Entrepreneurship at Northeastern University's Center for Research Innovation. “We immediately processed the technology disclosure and patent filing and worked with Audax to quickly execute a license agreement covering Professor Thomas Webster's new IP.” Webster heads the "Nano-Medicine Lab" at the College of Engineering at Northeastern University, responsible for researching and developing advanced nano-molecular technology. “The entire process, from initial conversation to signed license, took just a few weeks,” said Werth. Adding, “Northeastern's rapid response was key to advancing the promising new application of this important technology."
The material that Webster’s team produces may prove a safe and effective viral therapy to combat COVID-19 as well as providing relief for inflammatory symptoms.
"It's inspiring to witness best-in-class research focused on therapeutic development, diagnostics, and drug discovery repurposed so quickly to address the COVID-19 virus," Werth said.
They are awaiting FDA approval and thorough testing before it can be administered to patients but are confident they will meet these obstacles and move the treatment to market.
"We believe advancing our efforts and combined scientific expertise with Dr. Webster and his team in addressing this global crisis is our responsibility. Audax is honored to partner with Northeastern on this critical pursuit," said Mark Johanson, Founder and CEO of Audax Medical.
This story was originally published in 2020.
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