University of Arizona spin-off investigates DNA damage to human skin

Niadyne, Inc., a Tucson-based spin-off biopharmaceutical company co-founded by two University of Arizona professors, has received a Small Business Innovation Research grant of nearly $750,000 to continue investigating the prevention of DNA damage to human skin through the delivery of topical micronutrients.

The company's principal scientists and co-founders are Elaine L. Jacobson and Myron K. Jacobson, professors at the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy and research investigators at the Arizona Cancer Center.

Niadyne will use the funding to support the second stage of research on preventing the damage to skin cells that contributes to skin pathologies, including skin cancer. The completed first part of the study determined that delivering specific micronutrients through topical applications is feasible and helps prevent DNA damage and enhance DNA repair.

The second phase will evaluate the safety, tolerance and efficacy of niacin, vitamin E, folate and other pronutrients in preventing DNA damage to the skin. The goal of the project is commercial development of a product that will optimize skin health.

The Jacobsons are recognized as two of the world's leading experts on the role cellular DNA damage plays in the formation of cancer and on protective responses of skin cells to damage caused by sunlight and the aging process. They lead a team of more than 20 professionals at Niadyne.

The Small Business Innovation Research program is a highly competitive award system funding qualified small business concerns that propose innovative ideas to meet specific research and development needs of the federal government. The Niadyne funding was approved by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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