Special Delivery


Predrag Cudic, Ph.D., professor and associate dean for research, Charles E. Schmidt College of Science

Special Delivery

FAU Researcher Patents Effective Drug Treatment for Brain Disorders

Drug delivery to the brain is difficult, which makes effectively treating brain diseases and disorders, including addiction, difficult. Predrag Cudic, Ph.D., professor and associate dean for research, Charles E. Schmidt College of Science aspires to fix that.

Brain diseases such as schizophrenia, meningitis and Alzheimer’s disease, along with other disorders, such as addiction, require delivery of the drug to the brain for effective treatment. But, conventional drug delivery methods, like oral or injection, are inefficient in delivering numbers of therapeutic agents to the brain, because the blood-brain barrier serves as a highly penetrant-resistant shield around the brain. Drugs administered through the nose can be absorbed through mucous membranes to bypass the barrier, but they are often poorly absorbed.

Cudic recently received a patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for his work based on delivering the drugs through the nose, but more effectively, by using specialized carrier peptides that enhance the stickiness of the drug. The peptides bind to the sugar L-fucose, which is widely distributed on nerves related to the sense of smell. This allows the drug to reach the brain better.

“The prospect of potential commercialization of academic research is very exciting,” he said. “A patent is an important indicator of innovation, and it is good to see that non-academic organizations recognize our work.” FAU is seeking partners to advance this technology into the marketplace through licensing or development partnerships.

“My experience working with the FAU Office of Technology Development and Dana Vouglitois is very positive,” Cudic said. “From our submission of invention disclosure to final patent approval, I had numerous meetings and phone calls with Dana, asking her to lead me through the process. She made everything very simple and easy.”

If you would like more information, please contact us at dorcommunications@fau.edu.