RALEIGH, N.C., Oct. 10, 2018 — Karamedica, Inc., a start-up biomedical company, recently received a Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grant from the National Institute of Aging to develop a microparticle therapy for cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA), a condition that afflicts 85% or more of patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
Karamedica’s therapy for CAA consists of “smart” microparticles that are made of a material called chitosan that is derived from chitin, a biopolymer found in the shells of shrimps, crabs, and other crustaceans. The aims of the project are to optimize plasma decontamination processes for chitosan microparticles, demonstrate the efficacy of “smart” chitosan microparticles in targeting cells in the blood vessels of the brain and preventing attack of these cells by the body’s immune system. Karamedica’s chitosan microparticles will prevent injuries to the cells of the brain’s blood vessels by triggering them to begin producing a natural inhibitor of the damaging products formed by the immune system.
“We look forward to bringing chitosan’s therapeutic properties to a broad market,” said Wolff Kirsch, MD, Karamedica Chairman & Chief Executive Officer.
For the 2-year SBIR grant, Karamedica is partnering with clinicians and scientists at the Loma Linda University School of Medicine and the North Carolina State University Department of Nuclear Engineering. “We are pleased to be working with a team of distinguished colleagues at both institutions,” concluded Kirsch.
Karamedica was founded in 2016 by Kirsch, of Loma Linda University, Sam Hudson, PhD of North Carolina State University; and Andrew Crofton, PhD of AdventHealth University.
ABOUT KARAMEDICA Karamedica’s driving goal is to expand medical and veterinary uses of biopolymer-based products, especially those containing chitosan, by developing novel decontamination processes like non-thermal plasmas. Karamedica also seeks to create innovative medical devices and drug delivery systems based on these biopolymers.
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