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The North Carolina Collaboratory, headquartered at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is awarding 11 research and development grants through a new competitive Business-Academia Partnership Program to help address the public health and economic impacts of COVID-19 in North Carolina.

Supported by a $15,000,000 appropriation made by the North Carolina General Assembly, the research program aims to foster and strengthen partnerships between businesses and academic research groups to transform applied research and innovation into technological solutions for the benefit of public health and the economy in the state.

Summary of the awards and academia-business partnerships
Business Partner Academic Partner Total funding Project title and summary
Chimerix Inc. Mark Heise, UNC-Chapel Hill $2,000,000 Title: Identification and Development of a Broad-Spectrum, Easy-to-Use, Well-Tolerated COVID-19 Prevention and Treatment.

Summary: Building on past work, this project seeks to optimize a new anti-viral drug, CMX521, for oral administration to treat COVID-19.

Codetta Bio Inc. Deepak Kumar, North Carolina Central University $2,000,000 Title: Multi-omic solution for determination of COVID and long-COVID infections and severity.

Summary: Creating new technology for detecting a variety of respiratory diseases and measuring biomarkers to improve research, diagnosis and clinical care for COVID-19

EmitBio Inc. Scott Randell, UNC-Chapel Hill $2,000,000 Title: Validation of the RD-X19 COVID Treatment Device toward Regulatory Approval and Commercialization.

Summary: Building on past work to verify and validate a new handheld device designed for home treatment of COVID-19.

Inhalon Biopharma, Inc. Sam Lai, UNC-Chapel Hill $2,000,000 Title: Developing IN-007 as an Inhaled Treatment Against Pathogens Utilizing Human ACE2 for Viral Attachment and Entry.

Summary: Advancing ongoing research towards clinical trials for a new broad-spectrum antiviral drug capable of neutralizing current and future COVID-19 variants.

Vast Therapeutics, Inc. Li Yang, East Carolina University $1,200,000 Title: Investigation of proprietary NO releasing prodrug and its effects on COVID related inflammation to prevent long-term lung damage.

Summary: Advancing ongoing work to develop a water-soluble prodrug that can be inhaled to stop tissue inflammation and subsequent lung damage.

Halyard North Carolina, LLC Hooman Tafreshi, NC State University $1,000,000 Title: Next generation respirators

Summary: Developing new manufacturing methods to create ultra-breathable material for masks and other personal protective equipment

Kimberly-Clark Global Sales, LLC Hooman Tafreshi, NC State University $1,000,000 Title: Smart Manufacturing of PPE and HVAC Filters.

Summary: Leveraging machine learning to enhance manufacturing processes for highly breathable personal protective equipment and HVAC filters.

SAS Institute Inc. Matthew Wolfgang, UNC-Chapel Hill $1,000,000 Title: Machine learning enabled personalized medicine to improve severe COVID-19 outcomes.

Summary: Studying molecular and health record date of COVID-19 patients to develop predictive models for guiding clinical care.

Institute of Digital Engineering USA Joong-Lyul Lee, UNC Pembroke $600,000 Title: Using machine learning and digital engineering to predict rapid thrombosis in COVID-19 patients.

Summary: Developing cutting edge models of blood fluid dynamics to improve the understanding and treatment of thrombotic complications such as blood clots in COVID-19 patients.

NanoDiagnostic Technology, LLC Terry Xu, UNC Charlotte $600,000 Title: On-Mask Covalent Capture and Detection of SARS-CoV-2.

Summary: Developing new strategies and detection methods by advancing mask filtration technology and viral assays.

National Institute of Minority Economic Development Bruce Rich, UNC Greensboro $600,000 Title: Addressing disparities in homeownership exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Summary: Establishing a new training and technical assistance program with local, small and mid-sized minority-owned businesses to improve affordable housing options and create a pipeline of low and middle-income buyers.