COVID-19 News

NSF funds potential COVID-19 treatment using light-driven chemistry

New Iridium, a company developing commercialized photocatalysis technologies to accelerate drug development and manufacturing, has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant for $256,000 to conduct research and development work on facilitating timely availability of Remdesivir, a potential life-saving drug in the global fight against COVID-19.

“NSF is proud to support the technology of the future by thinking beyond incremental developments and funding the most creative, impactful ideas across all markets and areas of science and engineering,” said Andrea Belz, division director of the Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships at NSF. “With the support of our research funds, any deep technology startup or small business can guide basic science into meaningful solutions that address tremendous needs.”

This grant funds the development of an optimized manufacturing process for Remdesivir that utilizes photocatalysis, a powerful new chemical technology driven by light rather than heat. The project will explore new production methods using patent-pending organic photocatalysts to develop a superior synthesis route for Remdesivir that requires fewer process steps and provides a safer production environment. If successful, the new process will result in shortened production times and higher yields, providing greater supply to the market more quickly than current manufacturing protocols.

“COVID-19 is taking an unprecedented toll in both human life and economic impact,” said Chern-Hooi Lim, PhD, founder and CEO of Boulder, Colorado-based New Iridium. “Our photocatalysis platform has the potential to speed production and increase product yields to expand availability of Remdesivir to people around the world suffering from COVID-19.”

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