UNMC building medicine-making lab

By  | 

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- In this lab on the University of Nebraska Medical Center Campus it's common to see experts in a variety of fields such as chemistry and immunology working together. A team led by Dr. Howard Gendleman developed a drug that's shown promising results in the fight against HIV.

"You're really killing two birds with one stone. You're bringing the drug to the site of the disease and releasing the drug slowly to maximize its effect,” said Dr. Gendleman with UNMC Pharmacology.

It's nano technology crystallized with a twist. Think of it this way: the medicine is like a GPS infection tracker – with a slow-release timer – and instead of taken daily like most medicine – this injection would only needed monthly to be effective. With it scientists will take the invention to the next level.

The lab is just a shell now, but UNMC is ready for construction. In fact the next generation of drugs will be made right on campus.

"It's a game-changer for the University,” said Michael Dixon.

Dixon is head of UNeMed a company created in the early 90's by the board of regents. Its goal is to take the innovations of UNMC scientists to the marketplace.

"The commitment of this University to make sure our discoveries don't just sit on a shelf and make it to a spot where they can be developed into products,” said Dixon.

The Nebraska Nanomedicine Production Plant is already operating.

"The inventors become the inventors and the manufacturers. Now we have a team of scientists who understand how these drugs are made, how they're developed and now they're playing a part in the manufacturing scheme,” said Dr. Gendleman.

And the patients become the biggest beneficiary of them all. By creating the current lab on a larger scale with the inventors on board, researchers believe they can shorter the drug-making process by keeping it in house.

They're cutting something that usually takes 5-to-7 years to 5-to-7 months.