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OmegaGenesis Unveils Novel Technology for Nanomaterials Offering Broad Medical Applications

Published on December 16, 2008 at 12:10 AM

New Company Founded on Mayo Clinic Discoveries is Developing Therapies for Wounds, Diabetic Foot Ulcers and Hair Growth Using Nano-Materials with Angiogenic Properties. OmegaGenesis today unveiled the company's novel technology platform which employs nano-materials made of rare earth elements with angiogenic properties. Nanorod therapies for wound healing, diabetic foot ulcers and hair growth are being developed by the company, with plans to expand into the therapeutic areas of ischemic heart damage and orthopedics in the future.

OmegaGenesis has developed novel methods to safely generate large-scale quantities of the nano-scale europium hydroxide rods, which were first developed at the Mayo Clinic and shown to promote angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels. The company has established non-toxicity of the europium hydroxide nanorods in lab testing for human applications and pre-clinical studies for use of the nanorods in the treatment of wound healing, diabetic foot ulcers and hair growth are underway. Clinical trials are anticipated to commence in the second half of 2009.

"The angiogenic properties of the europium hydroxide nanorods open up a diverse set of biomedical applications and treatment classes that OmegaGenesis is pursuing," said Oostur Raza, CEO and co-founder. "We are excited to be using nano-scale materials for applications in medicine as it offers a number of advantages over conventional therapies. Nano-materials will enable doctors to treat disease at a sub-cellular level in a less invasive manner than treating disease at the organ or systemic level."

While OmegaGenesis is initially focusing its efforts on developing therapies based on angiogenesis, the company plans to eventually pursue applications in diagnostics and medical imaging, as well as anti-angiogenic therapies for inhibition of tumor growth in cancer.

OmegaGenesis, based in California and Minnesota, was founded in February of 2008 with seed capital from venture investors. The company anticipates to advance its current programs through much of the preclinical stages on existing capital, then pursue another round of financing in the second quarter of 2009.

In addition to Mr. Raza, OmegaGenesis will be led by Salah Sedarous, Ph.D., chief technology officer and co-founder, Don Morrison, executive vice president of corporate development and Dennis Kushner, executive vice president of operations. Riaz Karamali and Karen Cannan of Sheppard Mullin lead legal affairs and patent filings.

OmegaGenesis will continue an ongoing collaboration with Debabrata Mukhopadhyay, Ph.D., head of the Mayo Clinic research team studying the properties of a number of rare earth element nano-materials as well as angiogenesis. Dr. Mukhopadhyay's research has demonstrated that europium hydroxide nanorods promote growth of new blood vessels. The europium hydroxide nanorods are between 100 to 300 nanometers in length and one and 30 to 50 nanometers in diameter. One nanometer is 10(-9) meter or about 1/100,000 of the diameter of a human hair.

"Combining nano-materials technology, and the wealth of existing knowledge about angiogenesis, OmegaGenesis is pioneering the development of nano-scale biomedical therapies," added Raza. "Using this novel approach, the company is moving towards treatments that are safer and less invasive than conventional medicines."

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