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Published in This Week on June 03, 2013

Biochemistry prof’s startup wins competition

Raucher_DrazenThermally Targeted Therapeutics, a company founded by Dr. Drazen Raucher, professor of biochemistry, won first place in the pre-revenue group at the 2013 Mississippi New Venture Challenge Business Plan Competition May 21 in Jackson.

At the competition organized by Innovate Mississippi, representatives from nearly 50 startups presented their business plans, vying for seed money and in-kind prizes. Raucher landed one of two first-place spots.

Raucher's company aims to commercialize a peptide he designed in his research at UMMC. The peptides, bound to a cancer-fighting drug, are injected into the bloodstream and aggregate at a tumor that's been heated. The peptide-and-drug package then penetrates the tumor cells and releases the drug.

By targeting drug delivery, Raucher's system promises to drastically cut the side effects of chemotherapy.

Raucher said he's grateful to Innovate Mississippi and for the major role played by the National Science Foundation's iCorp program, which supported Thermally Targeted Therapeutics' technology commercialization and marketing plan. He also recognized the Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities, which provides ongoing support for the presentation of his research.


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