EU grants for Uppsala innovations

6 September 2018

A filter that purifies biopharmaceuticals of virus particles, a super glue that can be used for fractures and a transdermal patch for medication for chronic pain. These three innovations, which have been developed from research at Uppsala University, have received grants from EIT Health, a European health initiative.

EIT Health is a consortium with about 140 partner organisations in 14 EU countries that supports entrepreneurship and develops innovations in the area of health and ageing. Some of its funding goes to various innovation projects.

Big grant for innovative filter 

One of the biggest grants has been awarded to Albert Mihranyan, Professor of Nanotechnology and Functional Materials at Uppsala University, who has received funding for the project “Virus removal filter paper for cost-efficient and safe biologics manufacturing”. 

Virus filtration is one of the most challenging and important steps in the manufacture of biopharmaceuticals. Mihranyan’s group has developed a filter paper that both is cost-effective and shows promising performance.

“We want to test the filter paper along with our partners in real industrial conditions and with real biopharmaceuticals in their development phase, says Mihranyan.

The project is being run in cooperation with Bayer AG, a pharmaceutical company, and has been awarded a grant of around EUR 500,000 in the ”Innovation by Idea” call for proposals, where funding is allocated by EIT Health at central level.

Superglue for faster healing

Two other Uppsala-based projects have received EUR 50,000 each in the ”Head start funding programme”, where funding is allocated by the Scandinavian node of EIT Health. Out of 30 applicants, 10 were awarded grants.

One project is being run by Philip Procter, Adjunct Professor of Applied Materials Science, in cooperation with a company called GPBio: “A superglue for broken bones: a revolutionary tissue repair product”.

“We are developing a superglue for bone that is so strong that surgeons can safely and successfully glue bone fragments and the shattered joints of a patient together; with a biocompatible material that allows immediate load-bearing, maintains the fragments in place and even accelerates healing,” says Philip Procter.

Patch for pain

The other project is being run by Susanne Bredenberg at a company called Emplicure along with Håkan Engqvist, Professor of Applied Materials Science: “Ceramic based transdermal patch for management of chronic pain”.

“Emplicure develops a new abuse deterrent formulation for transdermal delivery of strong opioids for chronic pain, based on ceramic materials making the treatment safer for the patients, their families and lower the risk to public health as the formulation have barriers against misuse and abuse e.g. via smoking and oral ingestion,” says Susanne Bredenberg.