Qrons, a New York-based biotechnology start-up, has announced an Intellectual Property (IP) License Agreement with Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, to develop 3D printable implants to treat penetrating or traumatic brain injuries (TBI).
TBI is caused by sudden damage to the brain from an external force. As stated by the World Health Organization (WHO), TBI has resulted in a large number of deaths and impairments leading to permanent disabilities. Such injuries require long-term care and incur approximately $76 billion in medical costs annually.
As a result of this agreement, Qrons has received an exclusive worldwide license of IP associated with 3D printable materials in the fields of human and animal health. Ido Merfeld, Co-founder and Head of Product, Qrons, stated:
“The intellectual property covered by this license has been instrumental in helping us advance our research on the treatment of penetrating brain injuries. We believe combining Qrons’ proprietary hydrogel with customizable 3D printing capabilities is an innovative approach to treating traumatic brain injuries, for which there are limited treatments.”
Traumatic brain injuries
According to Qrons, treating patients with TBI can be difficult as each injury is different in size, shape, spread, and location. While penetrating injuries cause mechanical damage to brain tissue, non-penetrating injuries inflict widespread neuronal disruption.
In an effort to repair TBI’s, researchers from the company, which was founded in 2016, have identified that each injured site must receive a continuous flow of neuro-protective and neuro-regenerative agents. This prevents further neuronal damage and stimulates neurons to migrate to the injury site, regrow axonal processes and regenerate brain tissue.
Thus, genetically modified mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are being developed to secrete these agents to continuously and safely drive TBI repair mechanisms. Qrons is using the patented process “Mechanically interlocked molecules-based materials for 3D printing” to create injury-specific 3D printable implants for TBIs.
Jonah Meer, Co-founder and CEO, added, “There is a great need for our promising treatments, and this technology is an integral part of our work to develop innovative 3D printable, biocompatible advanced materials.”
Cell-synthetic hydrogel-based 3D printing
Working with advanced stem cell-synthetic hydrogel-based solutions, the Qrons research team is collaborating with Chenfeng Ke, Associate Professor of Chemistry, Dartmouth College, a member of Qrons Scientific Advisory Board and Qianming Lin, Ph.D. candidate an inventor of the licensed 3D process.
The new agreement provides for the payment by Qrons of initial and annual license fees and royalty payments based upon Qrons’ product sales. Professor Ke, stated, “We are excited to partner with Qrons and continue the development of smart hydrogels with 3D printing capability for the treatment of traumatic brain injuries.”
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Featured image shows a CT brain scan of a cranium with TBI. Image via Qrons.