A life science company born from Princeton laboratory research has received a National Science Foundation (NSF) small business technology transfer (STTR) grant for their technology, which can help create a more robust, versatile, and potent COVID-19 vaccine.

Optimeos Life Sciences was founded by Keller Center faculty member Shahram Hejazi and Chemical and Biological Engineering Professor Robert Prud'homme. The proposal entitled Formulation of a COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine by Inverse Flash NanoPrecipitation was based on research developed over a 20 year period in Prud'homme's laboratory.

This novel and scalable encapsulation vaccine delivery platform protects biologics and allows them to be more effective in the body, resulting in a more stable, efficient, and affordable COVID-19 vaccine. This technology can also be used to address future pandemics more effectively.

NSF's funding objective is to promote the progress of science, to advance the national health, and secure the national defense. In keeping with this objective and in light of the significant potential this technology has in combating the current global pandemic, the initial grant abstract was approved in an unprecedented ten hours.

With Princeton faculty founders, a scientific team comprised of Princeton alum, and the grant written in partnership with Vice Dean for Innovation Rodney Priestley, "This award is, therefore, a true result of Princeton's innovation and entrepreneurship," stated Hejazi.