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Posted: Sep 14, 2010
Russian Nanotechnology Corp. Approves New Projects
(Nanowerk News) Meeting in regular session, the Supervisory Council of the Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies approved the corporation's participation in new investment projects. Aggregate budgets of the projects exceed 11 billion rubles and include cofinancing of more than three billion rubles from RUSNANO. Investments will be made in the following projects:
1. RUSNANO will aid in establishing production in the Russian Federation of four innovative oncological agents. Each of the drugs uses new methods for treating cancer. The applicant for funding is a publically traded American company whose partners are expected to be renowned medical research institutes Roswell Park Cancer Institute and Cleveland Clinic Foundation (U.S.) and Children's Cancer Institute Australia. The project will contract with Russian research organizations and pharmaceutical companies for realization in the Russian Federation. Drugs will be brought to the Russian market in 2015; volume that year is forecasted at 40 billion rubles. These drugs will fill and empty niche in domestic innovative oncology treatments. A new business model will be used to develop the drugs; once they are registered in Russia, clinical trials will proceed in the United States on an accelerated schedule. That model will enable the project company to enter the world market for innovative anticancer agents, which in 2009 was valued at $50 billion.
2. Svetlana-Optoelectronics, applicant for this lighting technology project, won coinvestment to expand mass production of white LEDs. Demand for the output will come from producers of LED lighting equipment. LED lighting offers notable advantages over traditional incandescent lighting: greater brightness, higher efficacy in converting electricity to light, lower energy consumption, and longer service life. In contrast with incandescent lamps, LED lighting does not require special utilization. The main improvement in the technology, however, lies in the construction of the light emitting diode; by permitting the use of high operating voltage, it significantly lowers the cost of LEDs in comparison with its predecessor. The project will base its work on proprietary developments and technology from Svetlana-Optoelectronics. The company operates the entire production cycle, from epitaxial growth of nanoheterostructures for LEDs to assembly of sophisticated lighting systems.
3. Coinvestment will be used to establish production of transdermal therapeutic patches capable of delivering various medications (insulin, propranolol, acetylsalicylic acid, chlorpropamide, lidocaine, caffeine, testosterone, acizol) to the body through the skin. The project also plans to produce biocompatible implants for replacement and rehabilitative surgery. These cutting-edge technologies will have wide application in overcoming defects of soft and cartilaginous tissue (correcting cleft palates and reconstructing organs partially lost during removal of cancerous growths), for post-operation rehabilitation (effective healing of sutures), and in traumatology and cosmetology. Victor Sevastyanov, doctor of science (biology), professor, head of the Department for the Study of Biomaterials at the Research Institute of Transplantology and Artificial Organs and director of the Institute of Medical-Biological Research and Technology will head the project. The pharmaceutical patches produced within the project are expected to acquire market shares ranging from one percent to 30 percent, for transdermal anti-inflammatory drugs and transdermal local analgesics, respectively. Two other project products—the patented, biodegradable polymer matrix SpheroGel and the patented, implantable membrane ElastoPOB—are expected to gain market shares of up to 20 percent and 15 percent, respectively. The project is directed toward overcoming socially significant illnesses: diabetes, cardiac dysrhythmia, thromboses, post-operative rehabilitation for patients with cancer and other illnesses, and rehabilitation of individuals with serious spinal cord injuries.
4. Another medical project to win approval will broaden existing production of Lokus medical coverings to treat wounds, decubitis ulcers, and burns; the coverings are a gelatinous substance with nanosized particles. The project will develop the sales network for its products as well. Work that gave way to these medical covering began 20 years ago at the Military Medical Institute of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation. Clinical trials were conducted at leading research centers—the A. V. Vishnevsky Institute of Surgery, the N. V. Sklifosofskiy Moscow City Research Institute of Emergency Care, and the I. M. Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University. In comparison with standard surgical dressing material, Lokus coverings reduce the average length of treatment from 28 days to 16 days. The use of nanocrystal boehmite in the material imbues dressings with high germicidal and absorbent qualities, provides thermal insulation, and raises air permeability of the dressings. This highly effective treatment of wounds, burns, and ulcers has broad social significance.
5. The award to ESTO-Vacuum will enable the applicant to expand production of automated vacuum units for ion-plasma application and etching on micro- and nanostructures. The units are used primarily to prepare microelectronic, micromechanical, and avionic components; they may be used as well during preparation of modified coverings. In producing the equipment, the company will use proprietary solutions that meet the requirements of today's market—automation, flexible settings tailored to the operating procedures of the customer, and highly productive equipment that retains quality and reduction in the costs of final goods. This equipment project is designed to build the engineering base for expanding domestic electronics, a sector forecasted to grow from 95 billion rubles today to 300 billion rubles in 2015. The company expects to reach production capacity of 60 units per year in 2016.
6. Production of a new generation of special plastics to face interiors of automobiles and fabricate casings for consumer electronics will become a reality under another project approved by the Supervisory Council. Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, a plastic produced with nanotechnology, has greater durability and thermal endurance, is adaptable to streamlined production processes, and is applicable in diverse fields: medicine, construction, and furniture making. A large South Korean company, a leader in consumer electronics, will ensure further improvement in project technology and become partner, coinvestor, and major consumer of project output. The project plans to produce 80,000 tons of ABS plastics per year.
7. Cofinancing from RUSNANO will facilitate mass production of second-generation bands from high-temperature superconductors. By their technical and price characteristics, these bands are expected to replace copper wire in final goods. Project realization will facilitate creation of project clusters in which numerous new apparatuses based on HTS second-generation bands can be developed for use in electric power (smart grids), medicine (superconducting compact tomographic scanners), transportation (engines employing second-generation HTS), and in other sectors. The principle advantages of such devices are greater energy efficiency, significantly less mass, and greater reliability, including fire safety.
The Supervisory Council of RUSNANO also considered procedural matters for forming the Fund for Infrastructure Programs. The decision on the fund's formation was adopted in accordance with federal law No. 211-FZ On Reorganization of the Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies dated July 27, 2010. The fund will promote development of infrastructure for innovation in nanotechnology, including bringing to fruition the educational and infrastructure programs that RUSNANO has already begun.
Final details of RUSNANO's new investment projects will be published after investment agreements are signed by their participants.