Congressman Chris Collins Announces $225,000 in Federal Funding for Cytocybernetics
Written by Alex Feig on June 24, 2019
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27) announced $225,000 in federal funding for Cytocybernetics in Tonawanda. This grant was awarded through the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase 1 project which improves the safety testing of new drugs for approval by the FDA.
Cytocybernetics, founded by University of Buffalo medical researchers, developed the Cybercyte device that combines electronics with individual cells to test how new medicines affect the cell’s electrical activity. Currently Cytocbernetics focuses on the heart muscle to study how the electric current affects the heart cells. They have tested a variety of pharmaceuticals, from allergy medications to antidepressants to find fatal side effects such as heart attacks. Over time, Cytocybernetics plans on developing the Cybercyte for use with neurons, cells located in the brain. This will allow researchers to use the Cybercyte to study how drugs being developed for neurological disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease, affect the electrical activity within the individual brain cells.
“Cytocybernetics is paving the way for researchers to study the reaction our major organs have with pharmaceutical drugs,” said Congressman Collins. “This grant funding will allow researchers to expand their studies and ensure the medications we are taking will not put our health at risk.”
This grant funding will be used for developing a platform for superior predicative analysis of HERG Ion Channel-Drug Interactions for the Comprehensive Invitro Proarrhythmia Assay (CiPA).