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Collaboration Propels Innovation in Maine Life Sciences Industry

Collaboration is a hallmark of Maine's biotechnology and life sciences infrastructure.

By Emily McMackin on December 10, 2014

Collaboration is a hallmark of Maine’s life sciences infrastructure. For example, Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor is working with the Maine Medical Center and Eastern Maine Medical Center to study triple-negative breast cancer – one of the most difficult forms to treat due to its lack of genetic characteristics common in other breast cancers.
The University of New England’s College of Osteopathic Medicine is advancing therapies for chronic pain through its Center of Biomedical Research Excellence for the Study of Pain and Sensory Function. Funded as part of a $10 million National Institutes of Health grant that also supports centers of excellence in neuroscience and biomedical research, the center explores how the brain and body react to pain through the lens of everything from neurological disease to drug addiction.
University researchers are teaming up with Maine-based startups already developing technologies in this realm. Examples include Freeport-based SeaRun Holdings, which has discovered a protein in salmon blood that could heal traumatic injuries, and Portland-based ClearH2O, which makes hydration gel packets that aid in post-operative healing.
“Universities have a role to play in this because we have expertise, talent and resources a company may not have,” says Dr. Edward Bilsky, director of UNE’s Center for Excellence in the Neurosciences. “Through these public-private partnerships, we are contributing to Maine’s economic vitality – and improving human health along the way.”
To learn more, visit the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development.

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