FAU Spin-off CHS Pharma, Inc. Announces New Board Member, Robert Langer, Sc.D., Pioneer in Drug Delivery
JUPITER, Fla. (July 12, 2013) – FAU spin-off CHS Pharma Inc., an emerging biotechnology company located in Jupiter, Fla., has announced the addition of Robert S. Langer, Sc.D., to its board of directors and Scientific Advisory Board. Langer has made pioneering contributions in drug delivery and regenerative medicine. Along with Judah Folkman, M.D., the founder of the field of angiogenesis, Langer isolated the first substances that stopped blood vessels from growing which led to the first treatment for wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and many forms of cancer.
Langer is one of 13 institute professors at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT's highest honor) and holds more than 800 issued and pending patents. He is the most cited engineer in history with more than 90,000 citations and is the only person to be elected to all four U.S. national academies – Science, Engineering, Inventors, and Medicine – as well as having received the National Medal of Science and the National Medal of Technology and Innovation.
"CHS Pharma is fortunate to have Dr. Langer, who is a distinguished scientist and engineer, on its board of directors,” said Herbert Weissbach, Ph.D., director of FAU’s Center for Molecular Biology and Biotechnology in Jupiter and a distinguished research professor in the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. “His experience and success in helping life science companies develop their technologies will be of immense value to the company."
CHS Pharma’s technology is based on the discoveries of Weissbach and FAU colleagues Janet Blanks, Ph.D., and Howard Prentice, Ph.D., as well as collaborators at the Hospital for Special Surgery, affiliated with the Weill Cornell Medical College in New York. Weissbach helped found the Roche Institute for Molecular Biology and Biotechnology and served as a vice president of research at Roche. He is a member of both the National Academy of Science and the National Academy of Inventors. Blanks is professor of biomedical science and director of the Center for Complex Systems and Brain Sciences at FAU and Prentice is associate professor of biomedical science in FAU’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine.
CHS Pharma was spun-off by FAU in 2005 when research by Weissbach led to the discovery of a combination of agents that work together to target and kill cancer cells without damaging healthy cells. The compound he developed acts as both a chemo-protective agent and to shield skin against ultraviolet light, type B (UVB) damage. CHS Pharma entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with FAU to commercialize the compound for the prevention and treatment of skin, eye, oral and other cancers. To further the commercialization process, FAU recently assigned the technology to CHS Pharma.
CHS Pharma’s platform technology is backed by an intellectual property portfolio consisting of four issued patents, two recently allowed and nine pending patent applications in the U.S. and abroad. The company’s patented platform technology covers other potential treatments for illnesses such as stroke and cardiovascular disease.
Langer previously served as the chair of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Science Board (the administration’s highest advisory board) and on the board of directors for Alkermes, Wyeth and Millipore. He has received more than 200 awards including the Draper Prize, which is considered the engineering Nobel Prize, the Wolf Prize in chemistry, the Albany Medical Prize (the largest medical prize in the U.S.), and he holds 20 honorary doctorates.
For more information about FAU’s Office of Technology Transfer, contact Jeffrey Anderson, Ph.D. at 561-297-1165 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. For information about CHS Pharma, contact Chief Operating Officer Saeid Rezvankhah, 561-748-9393 or at email@example.com.
-FAU-Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University, with an annual economic impact of $6.3 billion, serves more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students at sites throughout its six-county service region in southeast Florida. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University is placing special focus on the rapid development of three signature themes – marine and coastal issues, biotechnology and contemporary societal challenges – which provide opportunities for faculty and students to build upon FAU’s existing strengths in research and scholarship. For more information, visit www.fau.edu.