OXFORD, Miss. and IRVINE, Calif. – A collaboration formed by the University of Mississippi’s Division of Technology Management, the USDA Agricultural Research Service’s Natural Products Utilization Research Unit and natural products company ChromaDex Corp. has won a national award for excellence in technology transfer.
The three organizations have won a Federal Laboratory Consortium 2014 Excellence in Technology Transfer Award for their work to develop, study and bring to market pterostilbene, a compound found in blueberries, grapes and other small fruits. In studies, pterostilbene has demonstrated promise for improving cardiovascular health, glucose levels and cognitive function.
The award will be presented this week during the 2014 Federal Laboratory Consortium National Meeting, being held April 21-23 in Rockville, Md. Walter G. Chambliss, UM director of technology management; Agnes M. Rimando, a research chemist with the USDA-ARS; and Tom Varvaro, CFO of ChromaDex (OTCQB: CDXC), will be on hand to accept the award.
“This award is a wonderful acknowledgement of the work our researchers and their partners at USDA-ARS and at ChromaDex have done,” Chambliss said. “These types of multidisciplinary projects allow us to share expertise and translate laboratory discoveries into commercial products with demonstrated health benefits.”
ChromaDex launched its pTeroPure® dietary supplement ingredient in 2010, licensing the technology from the university. The independent research company Frost & Sullivan awarded the product its 2010 North American Health Ingredients Most Promising Ingredient of the Year award. pTeroPure® is available in dozens of consumer dietary supplement products.
“ChromaDex is honored to have worked with UM and USDA-ARS on the research of pterostilbene and commercialization of pTeroPure®,” said Frank L. Jaksch, founder and CEO of ChromaDex. “This award recognizes not only the individual efforts of our team members but also the important impact that research and corporate collaborations can have.”
Pterostilbene is chemically related to resveratrol, a compound that is plentiful in the skins of red grapes. Resveratrol is thought to be at least partly responsible for the health benefits attributed to drinking red wine, which include cardiovascular health and cancer prevention.
Rimando began collaborating with Dennis R. Feller, former UM professor and chair of pharmacology, and others in 2003 to study the compound. Results of their work were presented at the American Chemical Society meeting in 2004 and attracted widespread attention.
Following the launch of pTeroPure®, researchers at the University of Mississippi Medical Center found that pterostilbene seems to help lower blood pressure in adults. The work, led by Daniel M. Riche, UM associate professor of pharmacy practice, was presented at the American Heart Association’s 2012 Scientific Sessions on High Blood Pressure Research.
“The purpose of research is to better understand our world,” said Alice M. Clark, UM vice chancellor for research and sponsored programs. “The process of ensuring that our research results have the greatest impact on society is broadly known as technology transfer. This prestigious award validates the University of Mississippi’s approach – pursuing quality research in a collaborative environment. It is exciting to see our discoveries making an impact both here and throughout the world, and for our people to be recognized for their contributions is always rewarding.”
The collaboration has also proven beneficial for ChromaDex, Varvaro said.
“The partnership with UM and the USDA is an example of private and government collaborations that not only work but also bring great benefits to all the parties involved,” Varvaro said. “By working together to further develop the licensed technology, we have accomplished more than we ever would have expected to do working on our own.”
ChromaDex is a natural products company that discovers, acquires, develops and commercializes proprietary-based ingredient technologies through its unique business model that utilizes its wholly owned synergistic business units, including ingredient technologies, natural product fine chemicals (known as “phytochemicals”), chemistry and analytical testing services, and product regulatory and safety consulting (as Spherix Consulting). The company provides seamless science-based solutions to the nutritional supplement, food and beverage, animal health, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. The ChromaDex ingredient technologies unit includes products backed with extensive scientific research and intellectual property. Its ingredient portfolio includes pTeroPure® pterostilbene; ProC3G®, a natural black rice containing cyanidin-3-glucoside; PURENERGY™, a caffeine-pTeroPure® co-crystal; and NIAGEN™, its recently launched branded nicotinamide riboside, a novel next-generation B vitamin. To learn more about ChromaDex, visit http://www.chromadex.com.
About the UM Division of Technology Management
The Division of Technology Management of the UM Office of Research and Sponsored Programs protects, manages and transfers intellectual property from the university to the private sector for commercialization. For more information on DTM, go to http://www.research.olemiss.edu/technology.
About USDA-ARS Natural Products Utilization Research Unit
The Agricultural Research Service is the principal intramural scientific research agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The USDA-ARS Natural Products Utilization Research Unit focuses on discovery of natural product-based pest management solutions and research in support of minor and new crops. For more information on the ARS Natural Products Utilization Research Unit, go to http://www.olemiss.edu/depts/usda/usdapage.html.