NuShores Biosciences receives $1.7 million grant to study bone regeneration technology

Hercules the alpaca

A University of Arkansas at Little Rock spin-off company, NuShores Biosciences, LLC, has received a $1.7 million grant to study how NuShores’ bone regeneration technology can be applied in craniofacial tissues. 

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, a component of the National Institutes of Health, has awarded the company a 2.5-year Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Fast Track grant to study the NuCress™ bone filler scaffold’s ability to facilitate dental implants in the jaw.

“This NIH award is a direct result of the profound study results in long bone delivered by our research collaborators at UA Little Rock and the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine. The reviewers were able to clearly see the potential in dental applications for this technology. I’m excited to work with world-class clinicians to study the NuCress™ scaffold for the future benefit of their patients,” states Sharon Ballard, NuShores’ CEO.

The NuCress™ scaffold is a nanomaterial-based bone regeneration device developed for large segmental defects. This development is led by Dr. Alex Biris, the director and chief scientist of the UA Little Rock Center for Integrative Nanotechnology Sciences and a professor of systems engineering in the Donaghey College of Engineering and Information Technology.

“This is a significant win to expand NuShores’ technology, made possible through our university relationships, Arkansas’ small business development infrastructure, and tireless work by a dedicated team. We are grateful,” said Biris.

NuShores Biosciences, LLC
NuShores Biosciences, LLC

NuShores has partnered with Stony Brook University School of Dental Medicine on this grant. If successful, the scaffold will be a transformational tool for surgeons involved in bone regeneration in a variety of fields.

Founded in 2014, NuShores has the exclusive, global license from UA Little Rock to commercialize university-owned patented and patent-pending technologies related to the NuCress™ scaffold. The company has received assistance from the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center.

The NuCress™ scaffold has already given a number of animals a new lease on life. For example, just last year, it was used at the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine to heal Hercules, an alpaca who broke his leg on his ranch in Lebanon, Tennessee, at only 24 hours old. The open wound and exposed bone led to a serious infection, which prevented the bone from healing properly. Against the odds, the scaffold eliminated the infection and completely regenerated the missing bone. Thanks to the NuCress™ scaffold, Hercules is now a thriving member of his herd.

About the SBIR Program

The SBIR program involves 11 federal agencies investing more than $3 billion a year in high risk/high payoff research and development conducted by the nation’s leading science-technology innovators.

NuShores’ award is known as a Fast Track Grant, where funding occurs when SBIR Phase I and Phase II proposals are peer reviewed at the same time and granted in a single award. This approach expedites funding and research for the companies. Research described in this press release is supported by the National Center for Dental and Craniofacial Research of the National Institutes of Health under award number 1R44DE028213-01.

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