One of these is Dr. Paul Weigel, a chief scientist at Hyalose, LLC. Dr. Weigel, professor and chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, was recently named a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, along with another University of Oklahoma researcher, Daniel E. Resasco.
According to the Academy, fellowship is a professional distinction awarded to academic inventors who have “demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society.”
Dr. Weigel’s innovations promise many benefits along these lines.
Dr. Weigel is internationally recognized for his contributions to the field of synthetic hyaluronan production. He serves as co-chief scientist of Hyalose, LLC, which was formed in 2000. Hyaluronic acid has proven uses in medical applications including osteoarthritis, ophthalmology, medical device formation, specialty drugs, and biomedical research. It also has uses in cosmetics.
His research program has led to 27 issued U.S. patents and 39 foreign patents. He has been awarded over $11 million in research grants, many of which directly contributed to the commercialization of his basic research.
Hyalose, our portfolio company, uses recombinant technology for the production of hyaluronic acid. The compound was previously produced by extraction from animal by-products or bacteria and required rigorous purification prior to use. Recombinant technology developed by Weigel with Hyalose reduces the risk of unwanted contaminants and enables hyaluronan to be produced via microbial fermentation for use in biomaterials, for drug delivery and reagents as well as medical device coatings.
Hyalose has successfully partnered with a global pharmaceutical company for the commercialization of this technology. Next week the company will be represented as a sponsor of the Hyaluronan Conference in Florence, Italy. To learn more about this conference centered on the research advances in basic science and biotechnology of hyaluronan, click here: HA Conference.
Dr. Weigel was inducted into the Academy at a ceremony at the California Institute of Technology in March. It is an honor to be associated with him. And to see what he’s going to build today.