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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Awardee:SPHEROFILL, LLC
Doing Business As Name:SPHEROFILL, LLC
PD/PI:
  • George Wicks
  • (706) 836-0880
  • fgump16@gmail.com
Co-PD(s)/co-PI(s):
  • William D Hill
Award Date:05/13/2021
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 255,391
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 255,391
  • FY 2021=$255,391
Start Date:06/01/2021
End Date:05/31/2022
Transaction Type:Grant
Agency:NSF
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.041
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:STTR Phase I: Porous Walled Hollow Glass Microspheres (PWHGMs): A novel sustained drug delivery platform with unique flexible capabilities
Federal Award ID Number:2112233
DUNS ID:080881721
Program:STTR Phase I
Program Officer:
  • Kaitlin Bratlie
  • (703) 292-2638
  • kbratlie@nsf.gov

Awardee Location

Street:301 GATEWAY DR RM 181
City:AIKEN
State:SC
ZIP:29803-9747
County:Aiken
Country:US
Awardee Cong. District:

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:SpheroFill, LLC
Street:301 Gateway Dr
City:Aiken
State:SC
ZIP:29803-9747
County:Aiken
Country:US
Cong. District:02

Abstract at Time of Award

The broader impact / commercial potential of this Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I project is to develop completely new technology for extended-release drugs. More than half of people told to take medicine just twice daily have trouble remembering to take both doses on time, and some drugs require dosing three- or four- times daily. This NSF project aims to create a new drug delivery system capable of programmed release over days to even weeks. The first drug product will be a treatment for malaria, which affects over 300 million people each year. Children are the most vulnerable; every 30 seconds, a child dies from malaria. Current treatments require multiple pills taken four times a day for several days. The proposed research could be transformative by enabling a cost-effective treatment taken once a day or possibly just once. The project has an enormous potential impact as the technology could create an entirely new market for drugs and drug delivery strategies impossible with current knowledge. This Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I project focuses on a novel drug delivery platform with unprecedented capabilities. Current technology has limited ability to package and control the release of challenging drugs that are: labile, peptide- or nucleic acid-based, very hydrophilic, or very hydrophobic. The microscopic ceramic microspheres invented in the USA for national defense form the core of the technology, which is now repurposed to advance the national health and welfare. They have a thin, porous shell and a large, hollow interior that can be loaded with solids, liquids, or even gasses. The microspheres can then be sealed, and the payload released over time. This project's overall goal is to develop the drug delivery platform by focusing on a predicate proof-of-concept: achieving extended, controlled release of the anti-malarial drug Artemether over one day or longer. Challenges include developing novel ways of reliably loading and sealing the microspheres with a waxy hydrophobic drug, new methods of analyzing the product, and optimizing the drug's programmed release over time. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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