Director of the Center for Innovation in Brain Science and Aqualung Therapeutics Corp. to receive AZBio awards
The Arizona Bioindustry Association has announced its AZBio Award honorees for this year. The awards honor leaders that illustrate the depth and breadth of the state’s life science industry.
This year’s honorees include neuroscientist Roberta Diaz Brinton, director of the Center for Innovation in Brain Science at the University of Arizona, and Aqualung Therapeutics Corp., a startup launched to commercialize technology developed at the College of Medicine – Tucson and the BIO5 Institute.
Roberta Diaz Brinton, Bioscience Researcher of the Year
Brinton, Regents Professor of Pharmacology in the UArizona College of Medicine – Tucson, will receive the award, given to a life science researcher in Arizona who has made significant contributions to the advancement of knowledge and understanding of biological processes. Contributions are measured by publications, scientific accomplishments, and professional recognition of an individual’s work in an academic or industry setting.
“I am deeply honored to receive this uniquely Arizonan recognition and share this award with my extraordinary team of dedicated researchers,” said Brinton, an internationally recognized Alzheimer’s disease research scientist and member of the university’s BIO5 Institute. “We are committed to preventing and curing Alzheimer’s for Arizonans and the world.”
In 2016, Brinton created the Center for Innovation in Brain Science, a hybrid university/biotech research ecosystem designed to advance cures for Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis through integrated discovery, translational, and clinical science.
Working closely with Tech Launch Arizona (TLA), the university’s commercialization arm, she and her research team launched NeuTherapeutics, Inc. to commercialize the first regenerative, safe therapeutic for Alzheimer’s disease.
Aqualung Therapeutics Corp., AZBio Fast Lane Award Honoree
Aqualung Therapeutics, is an immunotherapeutics biotech company with an anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrosis therapeutic platform for serious unchecked inflammatory and fibrotic disorders. The company was formed to commercialize anti-NAMPT therapeutics antibody to treat ventilator-induced lung injury, invented by Joe G.N. “Skip” Garcia, at the time of the College of Medicine – Tucson.
Most recently, the company has been awarded two 3-year NIH FAST-TRACK AWARDS to support the development of ALT-100, a humanized monoclonal antibody (mAb) therapy for the chronic indications of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH) and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). The ALT-100 mAb targets the inflammation-inducing damage-associated molecular pattern protein eNAMPT, and is currently in Phase 1A human safety trials.
AZBio will hold its annual awards event in Phoenix on September 28, 2022, at the Phoenix Convention Center.