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Virginia Catalyst Awards $400,000 to Help Reduce Neonatal and Infant Death

Tuesday, February 20, 2018  
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The Virginia Biosciences Health Research Corporation, known as Virginia Catalyst, has awarded a $400,000 grant to a collaborative bioscience commercialization project including a team from Virginia Commonwealth University, Eastern Virginia Medical School and ReAlta Life Sciences, LLC. This grant, which includes matching funding of $400,000 provided by ReAlta, is intended to establish the efficacy of Peptide Inhibitor of Complement C1 (PIC1) in decreasing brain injury in an animal model of neonatal Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE), as well as establish the long-term improvement in neurological outcomes after PIC1 treatment in an animal model of neonatal HIE.

Asphyxia contributes to an estimated 23 percent of the four million neonatal deaths each year around the globe, and eight percent of all deaths of children under the age of five. HIE is a contributing factor to these deaths, but there is currently no pharmacological intervention to treat HIE.

“Virginia’s research universities have a long history of bringing emerging bioscience solutions to the marketplace, helping to drive innovation, collaboration and economic growth,” said Mike Grisham, CEO, Virginia Catalyst. “Virginia Catalyst continues to work with these research institutions and supporting commercial companies to fund projects that address major unmet needs for improving human health by fostering more collaborative environments. Past achievements have attracted significant outside capital and industry participation to help commercialize this innovation, creating high-paying jobs for Virginia while improving lives around the world.”

This grant is part of round seven of funding by Virginia Catalyst. This award follows on the announcement in December that a team from Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia Tech, Inova Health System and Indivior Inc. had been awarded $500,000 for a project focused on changing the standard of care for those who are recovering from opioid overdoses.

Virginia Catalyst is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation funded by the Virginia General Assembly’s general fund and seven of Virginia’s research universities. The organization has now awarded 27 grants totaling over $10.8 million, combined with $20 million in matching funds, which financed the achievement of meaningful milestones. This has then resulted in follow-on funding of an additional $80 million and the creation of high-paying jobs throughout the Commonwealth.

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