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March 27, 2013

Purdue-developed technology could provide a solution to antibiotic-resistant bacteria, save lives

Sean Connell and Jianming Li

Medtric Biotech LLC founders Sean Connell and Jianming Li are developing a host of disinfectant and wound care products that could be effective against antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria. The company received a $150,000 SBIR Phase I grant from the National Science Foundation to continue development. (Purdue Research Park photo)
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Through the misuse and overuse of antibiotics, several types of bacteria have become resistant to drugs that were designed to kill them. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that some of these "superbugs" are linked to tens of thousands of deaths in the United States annually, including 14,000 for C. difficile and 19,000 for MRSA.

Technology developed by Purdue University researchers and commercialized through a Purdue Research Park-based firm could be effective against the increased number of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria in the world.

Medtric Biotech LLC, based in the Purdue Research Park, is developing a suite of disinfectant and wound care products that have been shown to be effective against two of the deadliest superbugs: MRSA and VRE. Sean Connell, president and COO, said these and other bacteria are becoming a global health concern.

"In the United States, the number of deaths attributed to these antibiotic-resistant bacteria rises each year. We see the effects as friends and family members contract serious infections that require hospitalization and drastic treatments," he said. "Our technology has been developed as an alternative option to prevent infection and treat superbugs. The results from third-party laboratories are promising, and they continue to motivate our team to develop these products that could save lives."

Medtric Biotech will continue to develop its products through a $150,000 SBIR Phase I grant from the National Science Foundation. The company also is eligible to receive an additional $30,000 Phase IB supplemental fund. Jianming Li, CSO and co-inventor of the technology, said receiving the grant is a significant milestone for the technology.

"The NSF SBIR grant is a competitive and meritorious award, and we are grateful to receive this funding," he said. "Besides the financial resources, the grant validates our commercialization strategy and can be further used to leverage support."

In addition to the NSF grant, Medtric Biotech received initial funding from Purdue's Trask Innovation Fund and the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute. Additional funding came from the Rice University Business Plan Competition, Wake Forest University Business Plan Competition, Licensing Executive Society's Business Plan Competition, National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance Advanced E-Team grant, Purdue University Burton D. Morgan Business Plan Competition, Purdue University Elevator Pitch Competition, Purdue University Life Science Business Plan Competition, Purdue Emerging Innovations Fund and private equity investors.

About Medtric Biotech LLC

Medtric aims to provide the measurable difference by delivering clinically robust and economically sensible wound-care solutions.

About Purdue Research Park

The Purdue Research Park has the largest university-affiliated business incubation complex in the country in four locations across Indiana. The parks are home to nearly 240 companies that employ more than 4,200 people and are located in West Lafayette, Merrillville, Indianapolis and New Albany.

Purdue Research Park contact: Steve Martin, 765-588-3342, sgmartin@prf.org

Source: Sean Connell, connell@medtricbiotech.com