Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2007

Universities, companies pony up $3.6M

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Research projects ranging from new heart attack treatments to preventing cyber-attacks were among those to win grants from the University of Maryland System to develop high-tech commercial projects.

All told, some 22 Maryland companies won the research awards, which were announced last week.

The program, which has supported projects with more than 400 Maryland businesses since 1987, combines funding from the university system and companies themselves. The latest round totaled $3.6 million — $2.1 million from the businesses and $1.5 million from the university.

Most of the research projects involve biotechnology. Quantum Molecular Technologies of Bethesda will work on the largest project — a total funding of $454,628. Quantum is partnering with the University of Maryland, College Park, to work on a new radiation sensor that could reduce the cost of medical imaging scanners.

Another Bethesda biotech, RegeneRx Biopharmaceuticals, will partner with the University of Maryland, Baltimore, to develop a new heart attack treatment. That funding totals $232,146.

RioRey, a Bethesda information technology company, will work with the University of Maryland, College Park, to improve its system to help prevent attacks on computer networks. The funding totaled $267,370.

One company, Alba Therapeutics of Baltimore, received funding to work on two separate projects.

Prior research through the university program has contributed to the development of products such as Gaithersburg biotech MedImmune’ s Synagis pediatric respiratory drug and a masonry drill bit by Towson tool maker Black & Decker, officials said.