Larry Sklar, PhD Larry Sklar, PhD

UNM Center for Molecular Discovery to market technologies through Accelera Diagnostics, UNM.STC option agreement

Accelera Diagnostics and STC.UNM recently announced a limited exclusive option agreement for a portfolio of technologies developed at UNM’s Center for Molecular Discovery (CMD), including compounds, repurposed drugs, devices and highly sophisticated methods for analysis and characterization used for the discovery of new treatments for cancer and other diseases.

The inventions were developed by a collaborative group of researchers at the UNM Health Sciences Center (HSC), including Drs. Larry Sklar, Bruce Edwards, Angela Wandinger-Ness, Alexandre Chigaev, and Richard Larson from the Department of Pathology; Dr. Eric Prossnitz from the Department of Cell Biology and Physiology; Dr. Todd Thompson from the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences; and other UNM researchers.

Accelera Diagnostics, a New Mexico-based startup company, is a spin-out of Sunbelt Technologies LLC, a privately held venture capital firm investing in early stage bio technologies and start-ups. Accelera will develop the CMD technologies for commercial applications.

“Today marks the beginning of a great relationship between Sunbelt Technologies and the Center for Molecular Discovery at UNM,” says Sunbelt Technologies Founder and Managing Member Andy Pham. “Their highly regarded portfolio is a prime example of dedicated university researchers and scientists developing cutting-edge medical technologies, and partnering with the private sector to not only realize their vision and generate profits, but importantly, to save lives.”

STC.UNM CEO Lisa Kuuttila is excited about the prospects for the commercialization partnership. “The Center for Molecular Discovery is one of UNM’s most innovative academic collaborative programs,” she offers. “The researchers at the CMD are all innovators and experts in a wide range of disciplines at UNM’s Health Sciences Center and share a commitment to drug discovery for new treatments for many cancers and other major diseases. Their technology pipeline has already produced an impressive number of patented inventions. We are very pleased that Accelera is interested in this portfolio for commercial development.” 

Sklar, a Distinguished Professor of Pathology, the center’s director, and a UNM Innovation Fellow for his many inventions with high commercial impact, is looking forward to working with Accelera. “The investors and the inventors contributing to this portfolio have a shared vision for making an impact by working together to save lives,” he says.

CMD is a NIH-funded drug discovery research lab focused on discovering small molecules as candidates for new drugs and discovering new uses for FDA-approved drugs (referred to as repurposed). The Center was selected by the NIH as one of only nine national molecular discovery centers in the U. S. and has generated more than $50 million in funding to develop its technologies. The Center program is an open system of more than 40 highly collaborative UNM researchers who believe that collaboration is regenerative and empowering. The Center for Molecular Discovery is housed in the new Innovation, Discovery, and Training Complex on UNM’s Health Sciences Center campus.

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