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Integra LifeSciences Holdings Corporation (Nasdaq:IART), Plainsboro, N.J., has announced that Dr. Ralph-Heiko Mattern, a research scientist at its Corporate Research Center in San Diego, has received approval for funding for Phase II of a grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.

The grant, with a first year budget of $361,648, has been approved for funding as of September 1, 2000. A recommendation for funding of a second year of the grant for $388,352 was also obtained, subject to the availability of funds and satisfactory progress in the first year of funding.

The combined $750,000 program will support the development of potent integrin-selective, RGD-based compounds to be used in the company's efforts to design innovative tissue regeneration products.

Included in this funding is support for research to be conducted at the University of California, San Diego in the laboratory of Dr. Murray Goodman, a pioneer in the field of peptide chemistry and a long-time collaborator with Integra scientists.

"The discovery of a new class of cell surface receptors, now referred to collectively as integrins, has opened up a whole new opportunity for therapeutic intervention," commented Michael D. Pierschbacher, Ph.D., senior vice president and director of the Corporate Research Center. "These receptors play a pivotal role in the way cells move throughout the body and respond to the extracellular surroundings. By designing compounds that potently and specifically target individual members of this class of receptors, we are able to elicit a regenerative response from cells in the body."

Integra is a leader in the development of medical products that instruct the body how to regenerate itself. Its INTEGRA(r) Dermal Regeneration Template product, marketed by Ethicon, Inc., a Johnson & Johnson Company, is the only approved product for permanent dermal regeneration for treatment of severe burn victims in both the United States and Europe.

The DuraGen(tm) Dural Graft Matrix, which received FDA 510(k) clearance and CE Mark certification in 1999, is an innovative collagen matrix for repair of the dura mater, the casing that surrounds the brain, after it has been damaged by surgery or trauma.

The company's peripheral nerve regeneration conduit, which is designed to stimulate and guide the regeneration of severed peripheral nerves, entered Phase III clinical trials in June.

"The combination of the company's strong materials based platform with the proprietary RGD technology places it in a uniquely advantageous position to lead the industry in the area of tissue regeneration," said Stuart Essig, president and CEO of Integra. "This grant represents a welcome additional source of external funding to support the company's tissue regeneration research and development programs, which are important for us to continue to be a leader in the industry."

Integra LifeSciences Holdings Corporation develops, manufactures and markets medical devices, implants and biomaterials.

The company's operations consist of Integra LifeSciences, which develops and manufactures a variety of medical products and devices, including products based on the company's proprietary tissue regeneration technology and Integra NeuroSciences, which is a leading provider of implants, instruments, and monitors used in neurosurgery, neurotrauma, and related critical care.

Integra LifeSciences sells primarily through strategic alliances and distributors.

The company has development partnerships related to tissue engineering and regeneration with the Genetics Institute division of American Home Products, the Sofamor-Danek division of Medtronic, Inc., and\the DePuy and Ethicon divisions of Johnson & Johnson, some of which involve the use of the company's proprietary RGD peptides.

Integra LifeSciences also has active grants from the National Institutes of Health to support the development of an RGD-peptide modified version of the INTEGRA(r) Dermal Regeneration Template product.

Integra has a Corporate Research Center in San Diego, CA and manufacturing facilities in Plainsboro, NJ, San Diego, CA, Anasco, Puerto Rico, Andover, England and Exton, PA. The company has approximately 485 permanent employees.

For more information, visit or call 609/936-2481.
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Publication:Biotech Business
Date:Nov 1, 2000

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