Liquidia Technologies today announced its founder, Dr. Joseph DeSimone, has received the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director’s Pioneer Award. Pioneer Awards are designed to support individual scientists of exceptional creativity who propose pioneering – and possibly transforming – approaches to major challenges in biomedical and behavioral research.
“It is a great honor to be a recipient of this year’s NIH Director’s Pioneer Award,” said Dr. Joseph DeSimone, Chancellor’s Eminent Professor of Chemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering at NC State University. “We are very eager to expand the exploration of novel delivery approaches for biologic treatments, as the safe and effective delivery of biologics will pave the way for a new frontier in medicine.”
The award will be used to advance PRINT® technology – a novel method for producing highly precise nanocarriers – for the delivery of promising biological therapeutics to desired locations in the body. Unlike traditional delivery approaches, PRINT particles known as Engineered Drug Therapies™ can be designed with highly specific sizes, shapes, and chemistries to facilitate safe and effective delivery of small molecules and delicate biologics such as proteins, peptides, and nucleic acids (e.g. siRNA). DeSimone and colleagues founded Liquidia Technologies in 2004 to commercialize PRINT technology. The company is currently advancing a vaccine product toward a Phase 1 clinical trial.
“We congratulate Dr. DeSimone on this outstanding award,” said Neal Fowler, CEO of Liquidia Technologies. “The efforts of Professor DeSimone and his research team are leading to discoveries of novel and effective delivery methods to prevent and treat a wide range of diseases.”
The NIH Director’s Pioneer Award Program is a prestigious component of the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research. The grant offers recipients $500,000 per year for five years to advance their research, and is among the largest sponsorships offered by the NIH to individual investigators. To be selected for the award, researchers must advance “pioneering” ideas that have the potential to produce an unusually high impact on a broad area of biomedical or behavioral research.