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Upstate startup wins $50,000 FuzeHub grant

The Upstate Medical University-based startup DUB Biologics, which is developing a therapy that could improve wound closure and decrease scarring after corneal injuries, was awarded its second $50,000 grant. DUB Biologics will use the investment to further develop its patented siRNA and will pursue additional investments toward its go-to-market strategy.  The company co-founders are CEO Tere Williams and CSO, Dr. Audrey Bernstein who is also a Professor in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at Upstate. 

The award was presented in October during a commercialization competition by FuzeHub, a not-for-profit organization that connects New York’s small and mid-sized manufacturing companies to the resources, programs, and expertise they need for technology commercialization, innovation, and business growth. 

In August, DUB Biologics took the $50,000 top prize at the SUNY Start Up Summer School Demo Day.

They’re hoping to change how corneal injuries that can lead to vision loss are treated. As inflammation is a major part of the scarring response, a mix of antibiotics and corticosteroids are often currently prescribed. Steroids produce inconsistent results and well-established adverse events that include cataracts and glaucoma. The available treatments are also time-consuming; the current dosage for some prescriptions can be required as frequently as four times/day for over a month.

DUB Biologics’ product is made of self-delivery siRNA (sdRNA) that can penetrate cells without additional reagents. One dose of sdRNA lasts two to three months to reduce inflammation and prevent scarring. 

Caption:  From left, Ben Verschueren, executive director of NYSTAR at Empire State Development, honors DUB Biologics founders Tere Williams and Dr Audrey Bernstein, along with FuzeHub’s Patty Rechberger.