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ASU receives "Herculean" donation


Arizona State University has received a substantial donation of antimicrobial technology and patents from Hercules, Inc., a global chemical specialties producer.

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Arizona State University has received a substantial donation of antimicrobial technology from Delaware-based Hercules, Inc., a global producer of chemical specialties used in the manufacture of products for home, office, and industrial markets.

The donation consists of patents and knowledge related to certain novel antimicrobials developed by Hercules, according to an announcement by Peter Slate, CEO of Arizona Technology Enterprises, ASU's tech-transfer company. The technology, which has applications in fighting both microbe growth and microbial resistance, will be incorporated into programs at ASU's Arizona Biodesign Institute.

"This technology package from Hercules is exciting because it is a new approach to microbiocides that gives broad-spectrum control of many species of bacteria and possible other microorganisms," said Charles Arntzen, world-renowned plant biologist and holder of the Florence Ely Nelson Presidential Chair at ASU. "The products that could be developed may provide alternatives to antibiotics in several markets," he said.

Given ASU's active research in related areas of microbiology, the technology could be used to develop other marketable products, according to Ed Birge, professor of microbiology at ASU. "There are potential opportunities to utilize new microbiocides in the consumer product markets, such as in the areas of antibacterial soaps and creams," he said.

Current sales of antibiotics and other biocides in the global animal health industry are estimated to be $12-$15 billion annually, and biocide use in aquaculture is valued at more than $1 billion per year and growing rapidly, according to the World Health Organization.

For more information:

"Technology transfer agreement gives ASU researchers tools for developing new weapons to fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria," ASU News, 7/18/2003

Meet the Players: Charles Arntzen