In 2004, Ursinus alumnus and trustee Dr.Joseph DeSimone co-founded Liquidia Technologies based on his discoveries at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC). Liquidia has announced a broad, multi-year collaboration with pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). Estimated to yield several hundred millions of dollars for Liquidia if all milestones are met, the collaboration is designed to leverage the strengths of both companies to develop next generation vaccines and inhaled products.
The collaboration brings together GSK’s medicinal chemistry expertise and expansive library of proprietary compounds with Liquidia’s proprietary PRINT® nanoparticle engineering and manufacturing technology, which is changing the way companies engineer healthcare products. Liquidia continues to maintain a powerful collaboration with DeSimone’s academic research group.
Dr. DeSimone is currently the Chancellor’s Eminent Professor of Chemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering at North Carolina State University.
DeSimone received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Ursinus in 1986 and has served on the Board of Trustees since 2001. He is the recipient of many prestigious honors and awards, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Pioneer Award (2009) and the $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize (2008), which is given to mid-career inventors dedicated to improving the world through technological invention and innovation. In 2005 DeSimone was elected to the National Academy of Engineering, and just recently, in May 2012, he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.
An accomplished researcher and inventor, Dr. DeSimone has published more than 280 scientific articles and holds over 130 patents with over 80 patents pending. During his career his projects have ranged from developing a bio-absorbable cardiac stent to inventing an environmentally friendly process for the creation of high performance plastics. DeSimone’s work is currently focused in the area of nanomedicine. With PRINT®, he and his team are able to achieve mass production of uniform nanoparticles with precise control over size, shape, chemistry, flexibility and other properties. In addition to vaccines and inhaled therapeutics, applications for PRINT® include the development of new approaches for the detection and treatment of cancer.
Details about the collaboration between Liquidia and GSK can be found at www.liquidia.com.