• Agile Sciences Moves Into Larger Space

    Agile Sciences, an early-stage, university spin-out company providing commercial solutions to those industries plagued by the effects of biofilms, has moved into larger office and laboratory space on Centennial Campus.

    Agile has moved into the 72,000-square-foot Keystone Science Center, the latest facility to be completed on the research campus.

    "We are delighted to see Agile Sciences moving into the Keystone building," said Dennis Kekas, associate vice chancellor. "It's just another indication of the health and dynamism of this exciting company, which has close ties to NC State."

    “Our new laboratory and office space in the Keystone Science Center will provide state-of-the-art facilities which will enable us to more rapidly develop our anti-biofilm technology to treat medical, agricultural, and industrial problems,” said Eva Garland, Agile Sciences’ Director of Operations. “Additionally, we will benefit from our new location’s close proximity to our founders’ laboratories at NC State.”

    Agile Sciences grew out of the research by two NC State professors -- Christian Melander, associate professor of chemistry, and John Cavanagh, William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor of Molecular and Structural Biochemistry. Developing a proprietary compound derived from the Agelas conifera sea sponge, the pair found their molecules showed great promise in combating antibiotic-resistant infections. Published studies show the compound breaks up harmful bacterial accumulations called biofilms, causing them to revert to a single-celled state that can be destroyed by antibiotics. A bacterial biofilm is a community of bacterial cells that are attached to a surface and are protected by an extracellular matrix. Bacterial biofilms account for more than 80 percent of all bacterial biomass on the earth. Within a biofilm state, bacteria are exceptionally hardy and they present a tremendous obstacle for intervention.

    The Agile Sciences compound is particularly effective against bacterial infections that have been resistant to common antibiotics, including methicillin, penicillin and amoxicillin.

    Concerned about infections that plague wounded soldiers, the Walter Reed Institute of Research recently announced a $1.8 million grant from the Department of Defense awarded to Drs. Melander and Cavanagh that will further test the effectiveness of the Agile Sciences compounds in vitro and in vivo.

    The company has recently received two SBIR grants from the National Institute of Health to validate Agile's biofilm dispersion technology for dental applications and for applying Agile's anti-biofilm technology to hydrocephalus shunts.  Agile has also received two awards from the National Science Foundation to develop its anti-biofilm technology for filtration membrane and medical device applications.


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