Selenium awarded NIH research grant

April 30, 2010
Two-year $912,943 grant supports the company’s coating technology for safer, more effective, and less-expensive antimicrobial applications.

LUBBOCK, Texas, and AUSTIN, Texas--The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, one of the National Institutes of Health, has issued a two-year $912,943 grant to biopharmaceutical company Selenium to support the development of antimicrobial dental devices and water lines.

In the two-part grant, the NIH has approved $492,972 for year one and $419,971 for year two dependent on achieving year one objectives. The company’s SeLECT technology addresses the need for a safer, more-effective and less costly antimicrobial or antineoplastic coating technology that can reduce the risk of contamination or infection in the dentist office.

"This grant is great validation of the importance and novelty of our technology for dental and medical applications," said Kris Looney, president of Selenium. "It will enable us to continue our work with SeLECT technology for innovative antimicrobial coatings in dental water line tubing. This can have an impact on the global dental industry and greatly benefit both dental practitioners and dental patients."

Selenium is funded and managed by Emergent Technologies. Thomas A. Harlan, ETI chief executive officer, added, “Selenium continues to receive recognition for its groundbreaking technology, and, in a very competitive funding environment, continues to receive grants that will facilitate developing the full potential of this dynamic technology platform.”

SeLECT technology was originally developed by Dr. Ted Reid and Dr. Julian Spalholz, co-chief scientists of Selenium and professors within the Texas Tech University system. Selenium's proprietary chemistry is a “green technology.”

The technology is able to inhibit microbial growth on surfaces through a natural, safe catalytic reaction that does not leach chemicals or toxins into the surrounding environment. Target markets for SeLECT technology include orthodontic, ophthalmic, and other medical device coatings.

The world market for medical device coatings could exceed $7.5 billion by the year 2015, according to a new report by U.S. firm Global Industry Analysts, and represents multiple growth opportunities for Selenium.

Selenium has already made its presence felt in the global dental marketplace through the company’s co-development agreement with orthodontic supplier Element 34 Technologies (formerly ClassOne Orthodontics).

Together they created SeLECT Defense, antimicrobial orthodontics that prevent bacteria and plaque buildup, based on Selenium’s technology platform. The FDA-approved SeLECT Defense is being marketed worldwide by Element 34 Technologies in more than 30 countries.

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