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Hypothermic Storage and Cryopreservation of Corneas

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 2R44EY015575-02A1
Agency Tracking Number: EY015575
Amount: $1,089,600.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: PHS2007-2
Solicitation Year: 2008
Award Year: 2008
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): N/A
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
OWEGO, NY 13827
United States
DUNS: 150225337
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 () -
Business Contact
Phone: (607) 687-8701
Research Institution

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Cell Preservation Services, Inc. (CPSI) is a biotechnology company dedicated to the development of novel technologies in the area of low temperature biology and medicine. CPSI's core molecular strategy is focused on und
erstanding and manipulating the cell survival and cell death pathways that appear to be cell-specific and are activated as a consequence of low temperature exposure. This paradigm shift has led to improved processes for the hypothermic storage and cryopres
ervation of a variety of human cells and tissues. Recently, through preliminary studies, we have determined that it is not adequate to merely address stress response issues during preservation through solution design, as has been the focus in the past, but
in fact a more comprehensive and integrated strategy involving pre- and post-preservation cell conditioning strategies is necessary. CPSI applied this novel strategic approach and has identified promising new methodologies that appear to improve corneal c
ell and tissue quality beyond that of typical protocols which rely only on the use of preservation media, such as Optisol-GS, to maintain tissue integrity and function. Feasibility data gathered on human corneal endothelial cells (HCEC), bovine corneal end
othelial cells (BCEC) and other relevant human cell strains suggest that the development of improved cornea processing and preservation protocols is highly feasible and successful development of an integrated process should not only increase the quality an
d utility of corneal tissue, but increase the donor pool as well. Investigations conducted under this research project will utilize cDNA microarrays, proteomic profiling, and viability and functional analysis to define the stress response pathways activate
d in HCEC following low temperature exposure common to pre-transplant processing. It is the intent of these studies to provide a better understanding of the unique responses of HCEC and whole cornea to low temperature exposure and utilize these data to dev
elop new procedures for corneal tissue processing. We have established collaborations and subcontracts with researchers from several organizations including Harvard Medical School, the Schepens Eye Research Institute, the Moran Eye Center and NDRI to facil
itate access to various outside resources (including expertise, cell culture systems, IP, etc.) to evaluate new processes/protocols that are developed under this research project as well as to help ensure the success of this research program. It is our bel
ief that the proposed investigations will lead to new methodologies for the processing of corneal tissue. These developments should have an impact not only on the quality and availability of harvested corneas, but also enable expanded utilization of cornea
l-derived cells in areas such as in vitro toxicological testing and HCEC transplant. Corneal opacities are leading causes of blindness. One method to resolve this impediment to clear vision is to transplant donor corneas to the patient. To do so typically
means that donor corneas must be preserved in a state of suspended animation in the cold prior to transplant. The methodologies developed in the past using Optisol- GS are dated and not based on modern, molecular medicine. CPSI proposes to use a molecular
strategy to develop improved protocols for the long term storage of human corneas - a set of integrated processes that will both increase the available cornea donor pool as well as the quality of the tissue for the cornea transplant market.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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