SBIR Phase IB to Continue Development of Cholesteatoma Treatment Building on New Research Discovery
Bacterial Robotics, a biotechnology firm developing ViruBots and BactoBots, announces receipt of a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase IB award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The award is effective June 30, 2014.
The grant enables continued development of an enhanced bacterium (BactoBot) that selectively targets and kills a tumor.
Cholesteatoma are benign tumors of the temporal bone, ear, and skull base that can cause deafness, dizziness, facial palsy, brain abscess, and meningitis. The SBIR Phase I study resulted in the discovery of preferential binding of the BactoBot to cultured cholesteatoma cells.
The BactoBot, code named AuriBot, is being developed to augment current skull-based surgical practices. The goal is to destroy microscopic cholesteatoma cells remaining after surgery in order to reduce the high recurrence rates. Residual cells may lead to recurrence rates as high as 10% in areas where the most sophisticated care is available. Recurrence rates above 70% in less economically developed regions of the world are not uncommon.
Bacterial Robotics intends to provide an unannounced go-to-market expert firm with the resulting BactoBot oncolytic product they can deliver to surgeons.
Ravi Samy, MD, FACS, and Bacterial Robotics’ Chief Medical Officer, stated, “Skull-base tumors destroy hearing and can lead to death if untreated. Further, of significant concern, are the high rates of recurrence that require repeatedly invasive, risky, and expensive surgeries. Our effort is meant to be life-changing and life-saving.”
Dr. Samy is Director of the Neurotology Fellowship at the University of Cincinnati, College of Medicine, Director of the Adult Cochlear Implant Program, and Associate Professor of the Department of Otolaryngology.
The cost of an uncomplicated cholesteatoma surgery typically exceeds $40,000.00 USD. Approximately 150,000 of these surgeries are conducted annually in the USA.
Bacterial Robotics’ CEO, Jason E. Barkeloo, added, “We are enthusiastic about the National Science Foundation’s continued assistance in developing this oncolytic technology. We are diligently focused on developing this BactoBot lytic therapeutic product so our market expert partner can deliver it to patients; ultimately changing lives and saving lives.”