In addition to the Research and Technology Development (RTD) program, WTC has two programs that facilitate fast-track industry-university research collaborations. The Entrepreneur’s Access (EA) and Focused Technology Initiative (FTI) programs are ideally suited to assist small businesses and startup enterprises in collaborative technology development. Both programs are available throughout the year.
FTIs provide up to $10,000–$30,000 and are targeted for companies with under 100 employees with a project duration of 6–12 months.
Bio~OriGyn, LLC, Spokane
Researcher: C. Harold Mielke, WSU Health Research and Education Center
To meet medical blood transfusion demands, there is a critical need for a continuous supply of fresh human blood platelets. However, because of inferior storage methods, much of the nation’s supply of platelets is discarded every year — at a loss to the industry of nearly $300M. Since 1994, OriGyn Technologies has specialized in cell storage and in vitro handling systems, discovering a proprietary plant sugar currently used in their infertility products. These sugars, by reducing cellular oxidative stress during handling, can be used to improve the storage of blood products. In the FTI project funded by WTC, Bio~OriGyn is working with Dr. Mielke to develop a novel liquid storage system for banking fresh human platelets that not only prolongs platelet viability, but also improves functional capacity following collection and storage. Dr. Mielke is an expert on blood platelets and is the founder and Editor Emeritus of the Journal of Clinical Apheresis, a journal specializing in blood banking, blood cell separations and blood cell storage.
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