Ceapro and McMaster University Researchers Awarded $500K to Optimize IPF Treatments

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by Steve Bryson, PhD |

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Efforts to optimize treatments to address critical challenges in treating idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) has been given a boost by a more than CA$670,000 grant to support a collaborative project between Ceapro and academic researchers at McMaster University in Canada. 

The Collaborative Health Research Projects (CHRP) Initiative grant — worth CA$670,315 (about $500,000) over three years — is supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health (CIHR) and the Research and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

This project started in 2016, as a team led by Todd Hoare, PhD, with McMaster’s department of chemical engineering, used Ceapro’s patented Pressurized Gas eXpanded (PGX) technology to transform highly tunable porous biopolymers and scaffolds into hydrogels that could be loaded with a variety of compounds.

PGX, which uses a unique plant extraction-based manufacturing process, showed potential to produce new materials that might optimize the effectiveness of treatments for IPF and for wounds that are resistant to antibiotics.

“Our PGX Technology has demonstrated encouraging potential in its ability to produce highly porous materials that will become innovative delivery systems capable of boosting the efficacy of drug therapy,” Gilles Gagnon, the CEO of Ceapro, said in a company press release.

The CHRP grant will support for three years this project to further explore the potential of this new hydrogel delivery system, and to potentially discover new therapies for difficult-to-treat diseases such as IPF.

“We are particularly excited about our opportunity to combine the impressive capacity of the PGX process … with our knowledge of how to create hydrogels using fast-gelling chemistries compatible with the process,” Hoare said. “[W]e believe this combination can lead to the fabrication of truly novel materials with highly adaptable properties.”  

Hoare will work with IPF expert Kjetil Ask, PhD, of the university’s department of medicine, and Brian Coombes, PhD, with the department of biochemistry and biomedical sciences, and an infectious disease expert. 

“Working with world-renowned experts like Dr. Hoare and his team at McMaster University has been a strong and fruitful relationship over the last couple of years as we’ve collaborated on various research projects,” Gagnon said. “We look forward to expanding the applications of this potentially game-changing technology into pharmaceuticals and biomedical industries for unmet needs.”

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