Jamie Spangler, assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, is among three faculty from Johns Hopkins to receive a grant through the Bisciotti Foundation Translational Fund.
Established with a generous multiyear gift from the Stephen & Renee Bisciotti Foundation, the fund provides $300,000 annually in seed money to advance Johns Hopkins discoveries on a commercial path. Recipients are awarded between $25,000 and $100,000 to conduct their work over a period of up to nine months.
For this year’s funding round, 27 applications were submitted. Six finalists presented their work in late January to an outside panel of researchers, other scientists and investors. Each applicant has made a report of invention to Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures.
Spangler, working with Denis Wirtz, Johns Hopkins University vice provost for research, engineered antibodies that block a newly discovered biochemical pathway that drives tumor cell migration. A mouse tumor study showed a more than 75% reduction in metastasis using a small amount of the antibody.
Spangler’s team is developing the therapy for aggressive forms of pancreatic and breast cancers, but the antibodies could be used to treat a variety of cancers and other diseases. The researchers also plan to collaborate with colleagues at Johns Hopkins who are pursuing other anti-cancer strategies, and they are already working with several oncologists as consultants.
JHTV is pursuing patent protection for the technology.
“All three projects receiving funding are emblematic of the significant level of discovery and innovation coming from Johns Hopkins faculty,” says Brian Stansky, senior director of FastForward, JHTV’s startup program. “The funding will help advance novel research in the areas of neuroplastic and reconstructive surgery, cancer metastasis treatment and repairing damaged corneas.”
Learn more about all the recipients at Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures.