A Medical Device Daily

Emergent Technologies (Austin, Texas), a life sciences venture firm, said that one of its portfolio companies, Hyalose (Oklahoma City), received approval from the state of Oklahoma's Economic Development Generating Excellence (EDGE) policy board for a $1.23 million grant to build a center for manufacturing hyaluronic acid (HA) and related glycosaminoglycans (GAG's) products.

The products will be used to formulate clinical diagnostic tools and companion therapies, the firm said. The center will be located in the Presbyterian Health Foundation's Research Park in Oklahoma City.

The EDGE program was developed to provide a blueprint for the state's future economic growth. The EDGE Endowment supports research and the transfer of innovation and technology to the private sector. The plan is for this strategic investment to transform Oklahoma into the "Research Capital of the Plains."

With an intellectual portfolio of 35 issued and 49 pending patents, Hyalose's technology has potential applications in multiple high-yield markets including the $4 billion orthopedic biomaterial market and the medical device coatings market, estimated at $4.2 billion and expected to grow to over $5 billion by 2010, Emergent said.

Hyalose also provides competitive advantages to a broader market of glycoengineering, including tissue engineering, estimated to be $15 billion a year currently. As more medical and pharmaceutical uses for HA continue to emerge, the value of the technology continues to increase.

Emergent President/CEO Thomas Harlan said that for the last four years Hyalose has seeded the research community with HA products made in lab-scale batch processes.

Hyalose Chief Scientist Paul DeAngelis, PhD, a professor at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center (OUHSC; Oklahoma City), said, "The technology to produce these unique molecules was discovered at OUHSC and the current suite of products was developed in the Hyalose laboratory using company funding and an Oklahoma Advanced Research Support grant from the Oklahoma Center for Advancement of Science and Technology. The new Oklahoma Glyco-Manufacturing Center will facilitate the advancement of research discoveries into clinical uses."