Developing a solutions for orphan diseases
ALACHUA, Fla.-- Cystic fibrosis, Lou Gehrig’s disease, Tourette’s syndrome: all examples of orphan diseases, or illnesses affecting less than 200,000 people nationwide.
“In the area of orphan products, orphan diseases we work with faculty members from U-F who are developing cutting edge technologies,” says Richard Wagner, President and CEO of Medosome.
Medosome biotech in Alachua is helping researchers at u-f to get new medicines- and perhaps even someday a cure- to commercialization.
“So we wanted to develop this company that could one develop the technology and also provide opportunity… other opportunities for faculty members to seek research funding other than the traditional mechanisms of NIH grants,” says Wagner.
Wagner says Medosome focuses on helping these cutting-edge solutions get to the patients who need them by providing resources. The facilities here at Medosome include research and clinical laboratories where faculty can work on the latest developments.
He says the biggest challenge is finding much needed funding.
“We’re trying to develop a technology that probably wouldn’t attract interest from either venture capital money of from a pharmaceutical company at that early of a stage and then working with it through other funding mechanisms,” says Wagner.
Some of the options available include grants designed for small businesses working on research and development.
“There are several options that we can do one is license it to a pharmaceutical company if there's interest, possibly take it to market ourselves although that’s very challenging; to get a drug to market today cost $2.6 billion,” says Wagner.
Medosome has also helped researchers take their orphan disease technologies and create an individual company
“We can spin off a company too from this and we done it on several occasions one in particular is a company that we just spun off called Aavet Therapeutics,” says Wagner.
Aavet is working on new ways to fight rare cancers by developing immunotherapy that can target tumor cells. Wagner says the technology is also being developed for cats and dogs.
“One of the leading causes of death in dogs is cancer after 10 years of age. There’s very few cures for it, this is a very simple cure so we’re hoping to develop a parallel companion animal product to vaccinate for cancers in dogs and also in cats… and also in humans, too,” says Wagner.
By finding multiple uses of a product, such as cancer immunotherapy that can treat both companion animals and humans, Medosome is broadening the market and getting this new technology to patients faster.
“We’re working in that sort of niche areas- it’s higher risk, higher reward, higher social reward for us individually working in that area,” says Wagner.
And Wagner says the social reward is what drives his company to continue working with the best medical professionals in North Central Florida.
To learn more about Medosome, click here.
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