Industry and academia are two very different entities and as such have very different approaches to accomplishing their goals. In academia, the term used for the college and university environment, the main function is to enhance education and research. In industry, the term used for businesses in a particular field, the main function is to create products and services with a financial return. At first glance one would think that academia and industry are at opposite ends of the spectrum with no common ground, but for spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury there are many instances where the two are utilizing each other’s strengths to try to develop and translate therapies to the clinic. Here we discuss several examples of Miami Project faculty working with industry partners in such efforts.
Drs. Robert W. Keane, Juan Pablo de Rivero Vaccari, W. Dalton Dietrich, and Helen Bramlett cofounded InflamaCORE, LLC in 2009 to develop and test new anti inflammatory agents for neurological disorders. Discovery research initially funded by the Department of Defense started in the laboratory of Dr. Keane, Department of Physiology and Biophysics in 2005 regarding targeting the inflammasome to improve outcomes after spinal cord injury. This work also received funding through the Craig Neilsen Foundation. An NIH/NINDS RO1 and included part of Dr. de Rivero Vaccari’s doctoral dissertation, who then continued these collaborative studies in 2007 in the laboratory of Dr. Dietrich for the therapeutic potential of targeting the inflammasome to improve outcomes after traumatic brain injury. In 2014 InflamaCORE received the approval of its first patent to target the inflammasome receiving critical funding from the Coulter H. Wallace Foundation and a Small Business Grant from NIH/NINDS. Currently InflamaCORE is developing the first biologic to target the inflammasome for the treatment of acute and chronic inflammation after brain and spinal cord injury in collaboration with The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis and the Department of Physiology and Biophysics.