US biomed consortium awards US$300K grant to progress advanced regenerative tissue product

30 January 2018

The Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium (MTEC) has awarded a US$300,000 research grant to regenerative tissue developer, Upside Biotechnologies.  

New Zealand-based Upside is developing an advanced, world-class skin replacement treatment for patients suffering major burns.  

Upside’s technology enables a small sample of unburnt patient skin to be grown in the laboratory into large areas of full thickness skin. This lab-grown skin can be used as skin grafts in patients with major burns who do not have enough uninjured skin to provide conventional skin grafts.  

Upside skin is produced faster than any competitive product in development. It is supplied in larger sheets with excellent handling characteristics preferred by burns surgeons.  

MTEC is a biomedical technology consortium collaborating with multiple government agencies under a 10-year renewable Other Transaction Agreement with the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command.  

“I am thrilled that MTEC is able to help Upside Biotechnologies further their prototype development and research,” said General Lester Martinez, MD, MPH, Major General (Retired), U.S. Army, and President and Chairman of MTEC Board. “These wound care and regenerative medicine technologies are critical to the safety and recovery of our warfighters.  We are pleased that MTEC’s membership is able to contribute to the development of these important capabilities.”  

“I am very excited that Upside Biotechnologies has been awarded a Prototype Acceleration Award by MTEC. Burns are a major issue for military personnel and Upside’s pioneering technology is designed to improve outcomes in those individuals who suffer from large burns. The award will support Upside Biotechnologies to ready its product, PelliCel™ for a clinical trial,” comments Upside’s chief executive officer Dr Robert Feldman.  

In May 2017, Upside announced it had signed a CRADA (Cooperative Research and Development Agreement) with the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC) based in Fort Detrick, Maryland.  

The CRADA initiates a collaboration between the two organizations on both the scientific and regulatory aspects of Upside’s engineered skin product development.

Additional information re Upside Biotechnologies
Upside Biotechnologies was spun out of the University of Auckland, New Zealand where the innovative technology was first developed in Professor Rod Dunbar’s laboratory. 

Additional information about MTEC’s Prototype Acceleration Award
The Prototype Acceleration Award mechanism focuses on advancing novel prototype technologies into the next major stage of development.  A current focus area for the Prototype Acceleration effort is point-of-injury wound care, including platforms for the delivery of anti-infectives, anti-infective therapies, and therapies to fight antimicrobial resistance.  Projects related to regenerative medicine, including therapies for muscle regeneration and new platforms for regenerative medicine (such as bone regeneration and grafting and autologous skin regeneration), are also an area of interest.

About Regenerative Medicine
Regenerative medicine develops methods to regrow, repair or replace damaged or diseased cells, organs or tissues to restore or establish normal function. The global regenerative medicines market is projected to reach US$30 billion by 2022.