BRM gets grant for lupus research
WORCESTER — Biomedical Research Models Inc. will share a $571,610 federal grant with a New York medical research organization for work on a treatment for lupus.
BRM and the Feinstein Institute were awarded the two-year Small Business Technology Transfer grant by the National Institutes of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases, BRM reported today at a news conference at Worcester’s biotechnology research park.
BRM, a privately held company that conducts research for others, specializes in autoimmune disease research but has never tackled lupus.
“This is significant because it puts us into a new core competency,” said Dennis L. Guberski, BRM president.
Lupus is an autoimmune disorder in which the body generates antibodies that attack the organs, particularly the kidneys and brain. The Feinstein Institute, which is based at North Shore University Hospital on New York’s Long Island, has been working on small molecules that might be candidates for development as drugs targeting the lupus antibodies, according to Thomas R. Coleman, chief science officer at the institute.
The grant comes on the heels of an agreement between Congress and President Obama to cut spending and raise the nation’s debt ceiling. Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives passed a measure that included reduced funding for the National Institutes of Health.
U.S. Rep. James P. McGovern, D-Worcester, said he could not be certain how the cost-cutting might impact federal grants for medical research.
“The honest answer is, I don’t know,” Mr. McGovern said. “It’s unclear where the next round of cuts are going to come from.”