Founder and CEO, Protea Biosciences, Inc.
"Ever since the Bayh-Dole became law in 1980, the transfer of technology ownership from federally funded research grants to academic institutions has created one of America's great economic success stories, of positive partnership between the federal government and universities across our country. Our company, Protea Biosciences, has the honor of instituting the first technology transfer agreement with West Virginia University for life science technology invented by WVU researchers. Today, that agreement has spawned a vigorous, growing Morgantown-based manufacturing enterprise of 40 employees, most of whom are graduates of WVU."
TSC MEMBER INSTITUTION(S):
West Virginia University
National Institutes of Health
PROTEA BIOSCIENCES, INC.
CHEMISTRY FOR BIOLOGY
ABOUT THE COMPANY:
Protea Biosciences, founded in 2001, is a biotechnology manufacturing and marketing company whose products are used to improve the discovery and analysis of proteins found in biological samples and to aid the development of new protein-based pharmaceuticals.
Protein research is necessary for new pharmaceutical development. Most drugs are either proteins or substances that can interact with proteins. Current pharmaceuticals are based on only about 500 of the 300,000 proteins estimated to be present in the human body.
Protea has successfully adapted a novel method to control the flow of biological samples, or biofluids, through micro-channels embedded in plastic protein “microchips.” As a result of that process, a single, enclosed fluid path accommodates a range of processing in a protected environment.
Protea Biosciences provides identification products and services to more than 150 customers worldwide, including 11 pharmaceutical research laboratories. The proprietary technology that founder Stephen Turner and his company adapted in the laboratories of West Virginia University (WVU) is helping Protea Biosciences accomplish its mission by improving the quality, reproducibility and speed of processing protein samples.
UNIVERSITY-BASED RESEARCH CONNECTION:
Protea Bioscience, Inc. was founded based on West Virginia University-developed technology and with the support of the WVU Research Corporation. It was founded to advance microfluidics and cell signaling technology developed at WVU and apply it to the discovery of novel protein targets to be used in the development of new pharmaceuticals and improved ways to manage disease.
Protea has 12 patents pending based on WVU-generated technology and has also branched out to sponsor research for post doctorate personnel at the University.
ROLE OF FEDERAL RESEARCH FUNDING:
Initial funding for the WVU protein research that led to the technologies upon which Protea was founded came from the National Institute of Health.
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