Professor Joseph DeSimone and two of his former lab members, Jason Rolland and Ben Maynor, have been selected to receive the 2014 Kathryn C. Hach Award for Entrepreneurial Success from the American Chemical Society (ACS).
The award was established, "To recognize outstanding entrepreneurs who have created a commercially viable business within the chemical enterprise......" In this case, the award recognizes the team's successful efforts to commercialize the "PRINT" (Particle Replication in Non-wetting Templates) technology after it was invented in the DeSimone lab in 2004.
PRINT is a nano-molding technique that enables the fabrication of particles with precise control over the shape, size, composition, and surface functionality. Liquidia Technologies, which now employs roughly 50 people in RTP, was founded based on PRINT technology, and has raised over $60 million in venture financing, including the first ever equity investment by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in a for-profit biotech company. The company has converted PRINT into a GMP compliant process and recently brought its first product, a seasonal influenza vaccine based on PRINT particles, into its first clinical trial.
Dr. DeSimone is the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Chemical Engineering at NC State and the Chancellor's Eminent Professor of Chemistry at UNC-Chapel Hill.