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BioSym Technologies signs $5 million research agreement with Syracuse University

July 10, 2008

Judy Holmes
315) 443-2201

Judy Holmes

BioSym Technologies of Des Moines, Iowa, has signed a 10-year, $5 million research agreement with Syracuse University to support Assistant Professor of Chemistry Robert Doyle and his research team in their groundbreaking efforts to discover new ways to treat such diseases as diabetes, ovarian cancer and tuberculosis. Incorporated in 2007, BioSym Technologies produces specialty ingredients for pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals and is the only known North American manufacturer of vitamin K2 and B12.

"The partnership between BioSym Technologies and Syracuse University gives recognition to, and support for, high-quality academic research that has a significant impact on the real world, and by doing so is an excellent example of the Chancellor's strategy for Scholarship in Action," says SU's Vice President for Research Ben Ware.

Over the past two years, Doyle and his research team have developed a method to attach insulin to vitamin B12 that may someday enable diabetics to swallow insulin in a pill instead of injecting it with a needle. The team has also been successful in attaching vitamin B9 (folic acid) to agents that can identify and kill drug-resistant ovarian cancer cells. The work may someday enable doctors to detect ovarian cancer at earlier stages than currently possible and to treat tumors more effectively with fewer side effects. It is this kind of basic research that prompted the owners of BioSym Technologies to contact Doyle.

"We are a unique biotechnology company that deals in drug delivery systems and in green technologies, such as biodegradable plastics and fermentation for ethanol production," says BioSym co-owner Mark Smolik. "The direction that Robert Doyle is taking in his research is parallel to ours. We are looking forward to a long-term relationship in supporting Rob's work and in developing synergies between his research lab and ours."

The new partnership will enable Doyle to share ideas with BioSym co-owner and primary scientist Daniel DeBrouse, who has been appointed a research professor in SU's Department of Chemistry in The College of Arts and Sciences. DeBrouse has spent more than 10 years developing new ways to deliver drugs and holds several patents. "This is truly a unique partnership," Smolik says. "Both scientists have expertise across multiple disciplines of science. We always believed there wasn't any other scientist who thought like Daniel until we met Rob. Things could not have worked out better."

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