Cabinet for Economic Development
Cabinet for Economic Development Awards $100,000 in Matching Funds

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, April 21, 2009  
Contact Information:  Mandy Lambert, (502) 564-7670  


Cabinet program matches federal SBIR-STTR awards to Kentucky’s high-tech companies

 FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 21, 2009)– Transposagen Biopharmaceuticals, Inc., has been awarded $100,000 from the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development’s SBIR-STTR Matching Funds Program aimed at supporting the commonwealth’s high-tech companies.  

The program is the first in the United States to specifically match both Phase 1 and Phase 2 federal Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants. To date, the program has made 64 awards to 42 high-tech companies in the state for over $14 million and has resulted in several firms relocating to Kentucky, including Transposagen, which moved from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (www.transposagenbio.com). 

Transposagen, now based in Lexington, is a leader in the development of unique rat models that can mimic human diseases and are used for drug discovery and development research. The production of animal models is a $1.2 billion annual market.  

The award from the Cabinet supplements a $295,614 grant to Transposagen from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which performs extensive external peer reviews using experts from academia and industry to assess the scientific merit, technical merit, and commercial application of proposed technologies.  

If specific goals of this most recent grant are achieved, the company could receive additional research dollars from the NIH.  Transposagen, which had previously received $1 million in Kentucky matching funds for an earlier NIH award, has already created six new high-paying jobs in Kentucky and will be hiring additional employees this year. 

“The federal award to Transposagen for its cutting edge research proves that our SBIR-STTR Matching Funds Program, which helped bring the company to Kentucky, is attracting some of the world’s foremost science and technology firms,” said Larry Hayes, interim secretary for the Cabinet for Economic Development. “These high-tech firms are leading the way in developing Kentucky’s knowledge-based economy and are helping establish our state as a world-class location for research and development.” 

Kentucky will match up to $100,000 for SBIR-STTR Phase 1 federal awards and up to $500,000 for federal Phase 2 awards. The opportunity for recipients of Phase 1 and Phase 2 federal SBIR and STTR awards to earn additional funds from Kentucky has drawn interest from high-tech firms nationwide.  

“We appreciate the continued support that the NIH and Cabinet have shown our company,” said Transposagen CEO Dr. Eric Ostertag. “The availability of matching funds in Kentucky has enabled us to continue our research and more than double the number of models we offer. We can now provide researchers with models that mimic such human diseases as Lupus and other autoimmune diseases, esophageal carcinoma, rheumatoid arthritis, leukemia, Alzheimer’s Disease, and colorectal tumors.” 

“Transposagen, like most early-stage high-tech companies, relies on outside funding to help them develop their technologies to the point where their sales revenues can make the company self-supporting,” said Deborah Clayton, commissioner for the Cabinet’s Department of Commercialization and Innovation. “Our unique SBIR-STTR Matching Funds Program is designed to help provide this critical funding and enable them to grow and begin creating high-paying jobs for Kentuckians.”  

A new solicitation period for SBIR-STTR matching funds is expected to begin this summer. For more information, visit www.ThinkKentucky.com/dci 

# # #

The Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development is the primary state agency in Kentucky responsible for creating new jobs and new investment in the state. New business investment in Kentucky in 2008 totaled over $1.8 billion with the creation of more than 11,500 new jobs. Information on available development sites, workforce training, incentive programs, community profiles, small business development and other resources is available at www.ThinkKentucky.com.