Oklahoma SBIR Collaborative Resources Participant Awarded $220,099 NIH Grant

Oklahoma City-based COARE Biotechnology, Inc., has been awarded a $220,099 grant by the National Institutes of Health to develop a new treatment for pancreatic cancer.

COARE Biotechnology submitted the successful Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) funding application with the assistance of the Oklahoma SBIR Collaborative Resources (OSCR) service, a statewide program created in 2011 to increase the number of successful applications from Oklahoma companies for the federal awards.

The OSCR program is co-managed by i2E, Inc., and the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology.

COARE Biotechnology was founded in 2010 by Dr. Courtney Houchen, M.D. to advance a promising new treatment for pancreatic cancer. Houchen is a Professor of Medicine, the chief of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition in the Department of Medicine at the University of Oklahoma, a member of the Peggy and Charles Stephenson Cancer Center and chief medical advisor of the company.

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is the fourth leading cause of U.S. cancer deaths. Even after more than a decade of recent FDA-approved therapeutic regimens and key improvements in medical care, some 95 percent of the nearly 50,000 Americans who will be diagnosed with PDAC in 2012 likely will not be alive in 2017.

“Our primary goal is to defeat pancreatic cancer,” Houchen said. “This grant represents a critical initial milestone in the development of COARE’s innovative therapeutic approaches. It will also provide further validation that DCLK1, a tumor stem cell-related protein, is a key target for therapies to prevent or treat pancreatic cancer and perhaps other solid tumors.”

The NIH grant award was one of three SBIR proposals and one federal contract proposal COARE Biotechnology has submitted with assistance of the OSCR program.

“SBIR funds potentially groundbreaking innovative projects,” said Steven Martinez, Programs Manager for OCAST and co-manager of the OSCR program. “COARE’S solution will be the first to directly and selectively target tumor stem cells – an endeavor worthy of the SBIR mission. The OSCR program is excited to support COARE and other companies in helping solve these worldwide challenges.”

OSCR offers resources available nationwide to help Oklahoma companies successfully compete for funding from the SBIR program and the companion Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program.  Services include proposal preparation, proposal writing workshops, identification of SBIR/STTR funding opportunities, expert coaching/mentoring and much more.

“COARE Biotechnology is one of many companies utilizing the OSCR assistance program today, and we’re pleased that it was successful with its SBIR funding application,” said Rick Rainey, who manages the program for i2E. “We are supportive of the direction in which COARE Biotechnology is progressing and hope this funding will speed the development of a much needed new drug to battle the killer that is pancreatic cancer.”

The SBIR/STTR programs award approximately $2.5 billion annually in funding to small, high-tech innovative businesses. Applicants compete for Phase I funding awards of approximately $200,000 each, or Phase II grants of $1 million or more.

About COARE Biotechnology

COARE Biotechnology is an early stage discovery, development and commercialization startup focused on developing novel anti-cancer drugs that eliminate cancer stem cells.   For More Information:  Eddie Bannerman-Menson, Chief of Staff, COARE Biotechnology. Contact: Eddie@COAREBiotech.COM

About OSCR

The Oklahoma SBIR Collaborative Resources program guides applicants from the beginning of the SBIR Phase I preparation all the way to a commercialized product ready for the marketplace.  OSCR partners are i2E, Inc.; OCAST; the New Product Development Center; Oklahoma EPSCoR; Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation; the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber; the Oklahoma Manufacturing Alliance; and the Oklahoma Nanotechnology Initiative. For more information: Steven Martinez, OCAST. Contact: Steven.Martinez@ocast.ok.gov; or Rick Rainey, i2E, Inc. Contact: RRainey@i2E.org.


Jim Stafford
Communication Specialist, I2E, Inc.
(405) 813-2435