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WE-REACH Awards Three New Biomedical Innovations

WE-REACH Awards Three New Biomedical Innovations

The Washington Entrepreneurial Research Evaluation and Commercialization Hub (WE-REACH), an ITHS partner, announced earlier this month their investment in three new awards to expedite early-stage product development for promising biomedical innovations. The three awards are intended to reduce skin injury from wound dressing, to treat COVID-19 induced viral sepsis, and to treat kidney disease.


Eric Seibel, PhD and his multidisciplinary team from UW and Seattle Children’s Hospital are reinventing high adhesion medical tape with UnTape. The goal is to reduce Medical Adhesive-Related Skin Injury (MARSI) without compromising on secure attachment to the skin, until it is time for rapid, painless removal.

George Ueda, PhD and James Lazarovits, PhD plan to develop a new class of therapeutic protein-based nanoparticles. WE-REACH will fund the first application of this platform technology to regenerate the cells lining blood vessels, which break down during severe infection and lead to lethal conditions such as acute respiratory distress syndrome and sepsis. With limited treatment options available, there is a major need for targeted therapies that treat COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.

Benjamin Freedman, PhD and the MiniKidney team plan to develop a novel therapeutic strategy for polycystic kidney disease, which affects millions and has no known cure. With this award they will utilize human mini-organs, that re-create the disease in a petri dish, to rapidly advance lead compounds into the clinic.

WE-REACH Awardees: Drs. Seibel, Lazarovits, Ueda, and Freedman

All three projects have received invaluable input from experts at the NIH, Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, third-party payers, and the United States Patent and Trademark Office, as well as an entrepreneurial committee of local experts in the Seattle area. We congratulate WE-REACH for their continued success providing funding for researchers and wish the new award recipients much success in their endeavors.